NextGen Series report: Rosenborg U19 3-2 Villa U19
Villa's three-match winning sequence in the NextGen Series came to an end in Trondheim as the race to qualify for the knockout stages from Group 3 was thrown wide open.
The boys in claret and blue led for long periods against Rosenborg at the Lerkendal Stadium but were hit by two late goals to suffer their second defeat in the competition.
Derrick Williams and Daniel Johnson struck back for the visitors before half-time after the Norwegians went ahead through Ole Kristian Selnaes.
But a second from Selanaes on 70 minutes and a goal from Mushaga Bakenga 10 minutes later gave Rosenborg a win which puts them three points behind second-placed Villa with a game in hand.
A tricky assignment was made even more difficult for the Young Lions with the absences of goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist and midfielder Gary Gardner, who were called up for U21 duty by Switzerland and England respectively.
Striker Graham Burke, the two-goal hero from last week's 4-1 win over the Norwegians, also missed out through suspension.
But Villa were the more aggressive side in the early stages with Johnson forcing Alexander Hovdevik, the home goalkeeper, to push away two long-range efforts.
Jonas Svensson miscued with a diving header for the home team, while Lewis Kinsella blocked a Bakenga effort but Rosenborg took the lead on 29 minutes when Selnaes' shot from outside the area found its way past Calum Barrett.
Villa faced a mini-onslaught from there - Barrett atoned for his error by making a stunning one-handed save from Christoffer Aasbak, while Bakenga glanced a header wide from a Salnaes' cross.
The Norwegian team's pressure didn't last for long, though, and Williams brilliantly turned and finished on 39 minutes after Samir Carruthers' corner was cleared into his path.
Three minutes before the break, Villa were ahead when Johnson made a clever run before slotting across the keeper to finish a sublime passing move.
The Young Lions began the second period strongly. Cameron shot over the bar after racing on to Johnson's cross-field ball, while a venture forward from Williams resulted in the Irish centre-back striking the foot of the post with a low shot.
But Rosenborg began to take control in the final stages. Selanaes restored parity when another long-range attempt took a wicked deflection on its way in to the net.
And Bakenga - the NextGen Series top goalscorer - pounced to score from close range after Villa struggled to defend a set piece.
The top two qualification spots are still up for grabs with Rosenborg facing Fenerbahce in Istanbul next Wednesday and Villa taking on Ajax at Villa Park on Tuesday November 22, before the Dutch giants welcome Rosenborg for the final clash in Group 3 a week later.
ROSENBORG: Hovdevik, Kvande, Rokke, Togstad, Aasbak, Berntsen, Selnaes, Svensson, Longas, Bakenga, Midtsjo. Subs: Fagerli, Stegavik, Blakstad [for Svensson 65], Torseth [for Midtsjo 88], Haugen, Bjornholm, Oien [for Longas 65].
VILLA: Barrett, Webb, Bryan, Williams, Kinsella, Carruthers, Johnson, Nelson-Addy, Cameron, Taylor, Drennan. Subs: Jenkins, Watkins, Robinson [for Taylor 80], Grealish [for Carruthers 75], Bateman, Ward [for Nelson-Addy 80], Melvin.
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