Sait Nagjee Trophy - Watford U21 1-1 FC Volyn Lutsk - Hornets buzz into semifinals

The Ukrainian side will rue missed chances as they crashed out of the tournament thanks to a late Watford penalty...

The Sait Nagjee trophy, currently being contested for in Kozhikode, Kerala, saw a second team qualify for the semifinals of the tournament. Watford's U21 team salvaged a draw in their final group encounter versus Volyn Lutsk to all but seal second place in Group A, at the expense of the Ukrainian team. Atletico Paranaense's win over Rapoid Bucuresti saw them qualify first from the group.

The Whites took the lead in the 10th minute and held on for the remaining 80, until a penalty awarded to and converted successfully by the Hornets, in the 90th minute, saw Volyn's hopes of progressing disappear. They desperately needed a win to progress to the final four at Watford's expense, whilst Harry Kewell's men needed just a point. 

The tie got off to a perfect start for the Ukrainian's, as Gerasymiuk Oleg's corner was only half cleared by Olajuwon Adeyamo of Watford. Volyn skipper Sergii Kravchenko, made no mistake in dispatching the effort from the edge of the box, past a hapless Luke Simpson in Watford's goal, and hand his team the advantage in the 10th minute. 

Volyn nearly doubled their lead in the 42nd minute, a miss that would prove to be costly in hindsight, as Roman Kykytuik's completely miscued a headed effort at goal. 

The second half's opening effort fell to Bernard Mensah, who was gifted the opportunity thanlks to Alex Jakubiak's brilliant pass, was met with a stellar save from Volyun keeper Artem Kychak. 

The final embers of the game saw the English team push relentless, before they were awarded a penalty by referee M B Santosh Kumar, who adjudged forward Sean Murray had been fouled in the box by Volodymyr Polovyi, as late as the 90th minute. The opposition players' protests were firmly dismissed by the referee. 

Promising midfielder Jakubiak, who is his side's leading scorer in the tournament, stepped up and converted with ease, sending Kychak the wrong way. 

The draw pushed Watford upto four points, compared to Volyn's three in the group, ensuring they participated for another game in the tournament, whilst the central European team packed their bags for home despite going undefeated in the three match group .

The EMS Corporation stadium will now play host to a Group B semi-final berth decider between TSV Munchen and FC Dnipro on 15th February, 2016 at 7 PM IST.