Report | Swansea City U23s 5 Porto B 1
Oli Cooper scored a hat-trick as Swansea City Under-23s romped to a resounding victory over two-time champions Porto B in a five-star performance in the Premier League International Cup.
The damage was done following a magnificent first-half display by the development side, with Cooper and Liam Cullen scoring a brace apiece.
Cooper then completed his treble after the break on a night that also saw Jordon Garrick provide two assists as the hosts built on last week’s impressive draw with PSV Eindhoven in emphatic fashion.
Victory moved the under-23s to the top of Group D with four points from two games.
Following his cameo for the first team against Watford in the Carabao Cup just 24 hours earlier, Garrick was one of three changes made from Sunday’s 1-0 win over Sunderland in Premier League 2 Division 2.
Gary Richards and Cameron Toshack were also able to recall skipper Jack Evans after injury, while Matthew Blake made his first appearance in a month after a quadricep problem.
The Swans came flying out of the blocks and took the lead after just six minutes at Landore.
Keiran Evans fed a speedy Garrick who pulled the ball back for Cullen and, although Porto keeper Ricardo Silva got a hand to his shot, he only succeeded in helping it loop into the net.
Porto responded well and hit back five minutes later as a fizzed-in corner broke kindly for Diego Landis, who fired past Josh Gould.
However, the Swans regained their advantage in the 16th minute and Garrick was the provider once more as his delicious cross was turned in by Cooper.
Garrick was in full flow again soon after as he raced away before teeing up Evans, who curled a shot just wide of the target.
The Swans were in dreamland at the midway point of the first half, when Cullen magnificently curled a 25-yard free-kick in off the post – leaving Silva with absolutely no chance.
Paulet and Garrick went close to stretching the lead further – both dragging low shots wide of the target – while Evans’ goalbound strike was well-blocked by Goncalo Brandao.
There was still time for one more goal before the break, though. Cooper’s initial strike was well-saved by Silva but there was no denying him the second time around as, following Garrick’s effort, he fired home his second with a crisp volley.
And Swansea’s number seven completed his hat-trick 12 minutes into the second half.
Paulet appeared to be fouled after he was picked out by Garrick in the area but the ball broke kindly for Cooper, who drilled home at the near post.
Cooper then handed Cullen the chance to complete his treble 17 minutes from time after he was deemed to have been fouled in the box. However, Silva guessed correctly to deny Swansea’s number nine.
Cullen had another opportunity in the 85th minute following a neat lay-off from Cooper, but could not keep his sweeping effort down.
Swansea City U23s: Josh Gould; Tivonge Rushesha, Cameron Evans, Brandon Cooper, Matthew Blake (Jacob Jones, 66); Jack Evans (capt), Simon Paulet (Daniel Williams, 61); Jordon Garrick, Keiran Evans (Cameron Berry, 78), Oli Cooper; Liam Cullen.
Subs not used: Lewis Webb, Kees de Boer, Mason Jones-Thomas, Josh Thomas.
Porto B: Ricardo Silva, Rodrigo Ferreira, Diego Landis, Goncalo Brandao, Tiago Lopes (Angel Quinones, 46), Boris Takang, Fabio Vieira (Tony Dijm, 59), Vitor Ferreira, Joao Mario Lopes, Taddeus Fomakwang (Afonso Sousa, 46) Madi Queta (capt).
Subs not used: Francisco Meixedo, Luis Mata, Pedro Gomes, Diogo Ressurreicao.