MILK CUP: United and CSKA book their place in last four

Man Utd's Ro-Shaun Williams and CSKA Moscow's Ferapontiv Lilia in action at Wednesdays Game. �Russell Pritchard / Milk Cup
Man Utd's Ro-Shaun Williams and CSKA Moscow's Ferapontiv Lilia in action at Wednesdays Game. �Russell Pritchard / Milk Cup

Manchester United and CSKA Moscow both booked their place in the semi-finals of the Dale Farm Milk Cup alongside French side Vendee and Glasgow club Partick Thistle.

The 2-2 draw at the Brandywell was enough to secure both United and CSKA’s passage into the next round, in front of a bumper crowd at Derry City’s ground.

CSKA forced the first real chance in the game, Egor Lelyukhin found space on the edge of the area and brought a good save from Dean Henderson in the United goal.

The first goal came 10 minutes into the game.

A smart pass by Lelyukhin put Nikita Kastakin clean through on goal, he controlled the ball superbly before poking the ball past Henderson in the United goal.

Manchester United got the equaliser their play deserved shortly before the half-hour mark.

Callum Gribben played an immaculate pass through ball to Zachary Dearnley, he looked certain to score but Mayorov blocked his shot only for Gribben to tap home to bring the scores level.

Dearnley tested the CSKA keeper again minutes later.

He found space in the box, managed to get a good shot away despite pressure from the Russian defenders, but Mayorov parried the shot and Mitchell turned the ball just past the post as the ball fell his way.

Manchester United made up for that missed chance as they took the lead just minutes later – much to the delight of the crowd.

Rashford followed up a hopeful ball from the back, he worked his way into the box, as he shimmied from side to side before he sent a beautiful curled effort into the top right-hand corner of the goal.

It was a clinical finish that earned the applause.

The second half failed to sparkle as the first period had. Manchester United looked more content to keep the ball and not risk relinquish their lead.

CSKA looked the more likely to score and that’s just what they did on the 65th minute in fortunate fashion.

Mikhail Solovyev had a free-kick almost on the right by-line, he curled the ball low towards the bottom left-hand corner and it evaded everyone and found its way to the back of the net.

Elsewhere, Portuguese giants Benfica bounced back from a poor start to the Milk Cup to claim an important win over high-flying Brentford. The Lisbon side won 2-1 at Rugby Avenue

Dubliners Cherry Orchard’s dream of reaching the semi-finals was ended at The Warren in Portstewart. They lost 1-0 to American side OC Blues in a key encounter.

French side Vendee have been in fine form this week. They won their third game of the campaign at Roe Mill, beating County Antrim 2-1.

Glasgow club Partick Thistle won a five goal thriller at the Riada in Ballymoney. They beat Russian side Chertanovo 3-2.

Club America made short work of Tyrone in Broughshane. The Mexicans beat the county side 5-1 in their final qualifying round game.

County Armagh claimed their second win of the campaign with a 1-0 win over Australian side Gold Coast Academy at Castlerock.

In Ballymena, Lusaka of Zambia beat County Fermanagh 4-1. Japanese outfit lost to Londonderry at the Riada Stadium in Ballymoney with the County side winning 3-1

The Craig Bellamy Foundation from Sierra Leone claimed a point at Scroggy Road, by drawing 2-2 draw with County Down.

While neither side could qualify the crowd in Limavady were treated to an entertaining game.

Newcastle United’s disappointing tournament continued in Portstewart.

The followed Tuesday defeat to Londonderry with a 2-1 loss to Catalan outfit Espanyol at Seahavan.

Dublin club Bohemians ended their qualifying campaign with a win by beating New Zealand side Otago 3-0 at Clough.