JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (July 30, 2016) – With a record-setting crowd at Kermit Tipton Stadium on Saturday night, the Otters fell to the recently promoted English Premier League Middlesbrough FC 3-0.
From first touch, the Otters worked early against the English Premier League team as they took several shots that had a chance at goal. One of the best chances came from Koty Millard in the ninth minute. After sneaking through several Boro defenders, Millard took a right-footed shot that just sailed past the right post.
Just ten minutes later, Middlesbrough retaliated with one of their best chances to net a goal early in the match. Callum Johnson knocked a cross from the left wing just outside of the 18-yard box. Harrison Chapman came streaking into the box and was able to put a foot on the ball to direct it towards the bottom right of the net. Andrew Kenneson read the shot and was able to get a hand on it to knock it out of bounds.
After gaining confidence in their attack, Middlesbrough kept their pace by knocking shot after shot over the next 14 minutes. Brad Fewster led the charge as he took several shots that were fired past both posts. After the storm of shots, Tri-Cities was able to minimize the attack and held the opposition shot-less for the next several minutes.
With time running down in the first half tied at 0-0, Middlesbrough was able to break the clean sheet as Chapman netted his first goal of the night. Just a few yards out and right in front of the goal, he rocketed a shot over the Otters goalkeeper and placed it in the middle of the net to take the 1-0 lead in the 42nd minute.
The Otters had early chances to get ahead of the EPL team, but the Boro took over in the second half by adding two goals. One of them came quickly out of the break for the U23s as Chapman netted a goal in the 48th minute to take the 2-0 advantage.
In the 60th minute, Millard came out swinging on a counterattack for the TCFC from the right wing. He worked the ball from midfield and struck a laser shot past the right post of the Boro goal.
11 minutes later, Middlesbrough padded their lead off a penalty kick. A striker for the Boro got tied up with an Otter centreback, and the referee immediately called for a penalty kick. Fewster took the shot and drilled the right side of the net to extend their lead to 3-0.
The Otters sent on every player on their roster within the closing minutes to give them playing time including all four keepers on the roster.
The Otters fell 3-0 to the U23 Middlesbrough FC but had ample chances to put a blemish on the board. Either way, the Tri-Cities FC made history by hosting their first-ever international friendly in front of a record-setting crowd.
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