Sunderland U23s reached the final of the Premier League International Cup on Friday night, as they beat Norwich City U23s 1-0 thanks to Joel Asoro’s first-half strike.
Porto B await the Black Cats in the final thanks to their 1-0 victory against Swansea City U23s earlier last week, with the date and location of the tie yet to be announced.
Elliott Dickman’s side remain undefeated in the competition, with their only draw coming against Derby U23s in their final group stage match.
Speaking to the club’s official website post-match, Dickman said that his players were “smashing” in what he described as a “real battle” against the Canaries on Friday.
Dickman also praised his players for showing their “ugly side” in the 1-0 win, which is something that the club have “questioned the lads on over the years”.
“It is a great achievement for Sunderland Football Club and the Academy,” said Dickman, who went on to hail the backroom staff who have “put a lot of work in over the years” to strengthen the club’s development side.
Sunderland’s match winner Asoro also spoke after he helped secure his side’s place in their first European final, saying that he was “very happy” to have scored the only goal of the game.
The 17-year-old striker went on to say that his goal was made sweeter as it was in a game “where you can reach the final.”
“My goal was the winning goal and that makes me happier,” he added, before going on to praise his team-mates for their “great achievement” as he stressed that “all the lads deserve so much credit.”
The Sweden U21 international said that “it means everything to reach the final,” and that although it “wasn’t easy” he and his team-mates are “very pleased” to have reached the last stage of the competition.