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Spyrou salvages draw for Norwich U23s as McLean and Jarvis return against Wolfsburg

PUBLISHED: 21:04 13 December 2018 | UPDATED: 15:10 16 December 2018

Kenny McLean made his return after three months out injured against Wolfsburg PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Kenny McLean made his return after three months out injured against Wolfsburg PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood

Kenny McLean and Matt Jarvis banked a vital 45 minutes as they stepped up their injury comebacks, during an eventful 2-2 draw with European opposition at Carrow Road.

City's U23s celebrate Nelson Oliveira opening the scoring against Wolfsburg PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodCity's U23s celebrate Nelson Oliveira opening the scoring against Wolfsburg PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Nelson Oliveira had fired City in front only for Wolfsburg to claim the lead soon after the break, but Anthony Spyrou salvaged a draw in the 81st minute to claim a Group C point in the Premier League International Cup.

The big news ahead of kick-off was the presence of McLean making his injury comeback, the Scotland midfielder returning from three months out due to ankle surgery, alongside Jarvis on the comeback trail and out-of-favour striker Oliveira.

Jarvis was looking sharp on the left but couldn’t turn in from close range after McLean had headed a Caleb Richards cross back across goal in the 12th minute, with visiting defender Robin Ziegele winning that race.

The German visitors looked dangerous in attack but City’s defence were in the mood for a battle, with Jon McCracken kept busy throughout the first half.

Ciaren Jones in defensive action for the young Canaries PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodCiaren Jones in defensive action for the young Canaries PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Ziegele headed wide from a corner in the 23rd minute and Scottish keeper McCracken got down well to deny a powerful shot from Julian Justvan a minute later.

The deadlock was broken in the 34th minute though when a lovely Oliveira flick played one-cap England international Jarvis through on goal, with the winger’s shot denied by a fine save but Portugal international Oliveira on hand to slam into the empty net from just inside the area.

McLean and Jarvis were replaced by Spyrou and Tom Scully at the break and the hosts lost control, with Wolfsburg – top of their league in the German fourth tier – taking the lead with two goals in 12 minutes.

Striker Blaz Kramer headed back across McCraken to equalise from a cross from the right in the 52nd minute and visiting skipper Daniel Hamslik grabbed the lead in the 64th minute, blasting low from the edge of the box after a cross from the right deflected kindly for him.

Nelson Oliveria was on target for City's U23s during their draw with Wolfsburg PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodNelson Oliveria was on target for City's U23s during their draw with Wolfsburg PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

The visitors were in firm control but Norwich fought back thanks to Spyrou turning home Simon Power’s cross, before a host of chances were wasted by the Canaries in the closing stages, with Ciaren Jones heading wide, Power going close three times and Tom Scully failing to make the most of a counter.

It leaves David Wright’s team needing to beat Tottenham at Colney in January to have a chance of reaching the quarter-finals of the competition.

Norwich U23: McCracken; Kamal, Odusina (C), Jones, Richards; Payne, Phillips (Coley 78); Power, McLean (Spyrou 46), Jarvis (Scully 46); Oliveira. Unused subs: Johnson (GK), Ekumah

Goals: Oliveira (34), Spyrou (81)

Caleb Richards returned from his loan with FC United of Manchester to play for City PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodCaleb Richards returned from his loan with FC United of Manchester to play for City PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Booked: Oliveira (foul on Hanslik, 41), Phillips (fouls on Itter, 55)

Wolfsburg II: Menzel, Badu (Heuer 86), Ziegele, Franke, Itter; Seguin; Justvan, Hansli, Moker (May 51), Saglam;  Kramer (Wahlig 82). Unused subs: Tasche (GK), Beifus

Goals: Kramer (52), Hamslik (64)

Booked: Saglam (foul on Power, 43), Kramer (foul on Oliveira, 71)

First team head coach Daniel Farke watcing the Norwich City U23s against Wolfsburg in the Premier League International Cup PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodFirst team head coach Daniel Farke watcing the Norwich City U23s against Wolfsburg in the Premier League International Cup PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Referee: Alan Dale

Attendance: 750 (estimated)

Matt Jarvis was in action for the first time since March PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodMatt Jarvis was in action for the first time since March PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Scotland international Kenny McLean returned from ankle surgery against Wolfsburg PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodScotland international Kenny McLean returned from ankle surgery against Wolfsburg PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Canaries keeper jon McCracken holds a Wolfsburg shot PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodCanaries keeper jon McCracken holds a Wolfsburg shot PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Adam Phillips in midfield battle against Wolfsburg at Carrow Road PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodAdam Phillips in midfield battle against Wolfsburg at Carrow Road PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Nelson Oliveira scored his third goal in four games for City's U23s this season PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodNelson Oliveira scored his third goal in four games for City's U23s this season PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Nelson Oliveria played the full 90 minutes for City's U23s against Wolfsburg PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodNelson Oliveria played the full 90 minutes for City's U23s against Wolfsburg PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Bilal Kamal during Norwich City U-23 vs Wolfsburg in the Premier League International Cup. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodBilal Kamal during Norwich City U-23 vs Wolfsburg in the Premier League International Cup. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

From left, Timi Odusina, Jon McCracken and Ciaren Jones ahead of kick-off against Wolfsburg at Carrow Road PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodFrom left, Timi Odusina, Jon McCracken and Ciaren Jones ahead of kick-off against Wolfsburg at Carrow Road PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Kenny McLean playing for Norwich City Football Club under 23�s against VFL Wolfsburg in the Premier League International Cup. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodKenny McLean playing for Norwich City Football Club under 23�s against VFL Wolfsburg in the Premier League International Cup. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

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