Sotiriou strike in vain as O's bow out of the cup
The young O’s Youth Alliance Cup run came to an end at the hands of AFC Bournemouth after a 2-1 area semi-final defeat on Saturday.
A strong starting XI was fielded by the O’s and despite a brilliant solo goal from Ruel Sotiriou late on in the game, it wasn’t enough to stop the Cherries from booking their place in the final.
With both sides keen to get off to a bright start, it was the visitors who made the breakthrough early on when a ball from Antonio Diaz down the left side beat the O’s defence and Gavin Kilkenny calmly slotted the ball past Orient goalkeeper Arthur Janata.
The O’s struggled to break down the Bournemouth defence in the first half and their best opportunity came after Tristian Abrahams won a free kick just outside the box, but his effort was deflected just over the bar.
Another opportunity fell for top scorer Abrahams as he connected with a ball across the box from Ruel Sotiriou but his shot was off target once again.
With half time approaching Bournemouth then doubled their advantage as Diaz went from provider to goalscorer, supplying the finishing touch to a swift break from the Cherries after Orient had lost possession in their own half.
Following the interval, the hosts responded strongly as Rian McLean made a run down the right and managed to work a way into the box before forcing a good save from the Cherries goalkeeper.
As the match entered the final stages the O's continued to push for a way back into the game, and with four minutes left on the clock managed to pull a goal back through a brilliant solo effort from Sotiriou.
The first-year scholar showed both finesse and strength to embark on a fine run and hold off challenges no less than five Bournemouth defenders before producing an even better finish into the top corner.
Orient continued to push for a late leveller, but one wasn’t forthcoming and the game ended on a sour note for the O’s with both Henry Ocheing and Abrahams being shown their marching orders after a coming together between both sides.
ORIENT: Arthur Janata, Rian McLean (Andrew Camilo-Tayaca 75), Toby Stevenson, Henry Ochieng, Dan Happe, Teddy Perkins, Ruel Sotiriou, Charley Barker, Tristan Abrahams, Steven Alzate, Pat Adamson (Charles Clayden 75)
SUBS: Ernold Haxhiu, Luca Carter-Henry