Reice Charles-Cook completed an outstanding comeback to defeat Sheffield Wednesday over three legs to see the Silkmen through to the final eight of the Stay Intertoto Cup.
A tough quarter final place against French side FC Lorient awaits Reice after three incredible games of FIFA against Wednesday’s Jordan O’Brien.
Sheffield Wednesday took the lead in a very cagey first half of the first leg. With few chances in the first 45 minutes, Bannan latched onto a good pass and smashed past Reice from just inside the box.
The first leg was a very tight game with few clear cut chances but the game sparked into life in the final 20 minutes. Jacob Murphy doubled the Owls’ lead after rounding Reice and tapping into the net.
However, with virtually the last kick of the game, Jacob Blyth provided hope for the Silkmen. A superb finish on the edge of the box brought the deficit back to just one, prompting tactical changes from both teams in the second leg.
Reice changed his trusted 5-3-2 for a little more attacking 4-2-3-1 whilst O’Brien was happy to sit on his one goal lead and counter attacking at every opportunity.
Somehow, the second leg was entering the final stages at 0-0, meaning Wednesday were ahead 2-1 on aggregate. In contrast to the first leg, this game was littered with chances and only the woodwork and some extraordinary saves keeping the score at 0-0.
But once again, Macc left it late. Gnahoua had been chipping away at the Owls goal all game and his break came in the 88th minute. He sprinted through on goal and finished deftly past Westwood to take the game to a one legged rematch.
In short, Macc’s first half of the rematch was sensational. Reice completed the turnaround early on through Gnahoua who obviously hadn’t lost his goalscoring touch as he finished expertly into the corner of the net.
Stephens double either side of half time put truly Macc in the ascendancy before Jacob Murphy clawed one back for Wednesday.
Nathan Cameron’s red card rocked the Silkmen and they conceded a second soon afterwards to make the score 3-2, which really tested Reice’s nerves.
However, the Silkmen held on to deservedly earn a place in the last 8 of the Stay Intertoto Cup.