Miguel Azeez scored his first goal for Portsmouth in just the third start of his loan spell, in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday night.
Portsmouth went into the final game of their EFL Trophy group stage with a seemingly impossible task to progress to the knockout stages.
Having lost both their games before Tuesday, they needed to win against Crystal Palace u21s, they needed Sutton to beat AFC Wimbledon, and they needed a significant goal difference swing in their favour as well.
To try and help them achieve their goal, Miguel Azeez started in midfield for Portsmouth, and he ended up opening the scoring for the side.
The Arsenal loanee picked up the ball just inside the area, before curling a finish into the far corner of the net.
— Portsmouth FC (@Pompey) November 10, 2021
Portsmouth then scored a second early in the second half, whilst Sutton took the lead against AFC Wimbledon. That left Azeez’s side just one goal away from the knockout stages.
With over 92 minutes on the clock, Portsmouth finally found that goal, and they qualified in dramatic style on goals scored.
As well as his goal, Azeez completed 86% of his passes including four of his five long balls, he created three chances, and he made three interceptions and one tackle. He’ll hope he’s made a positive impression on Danny Cowley ahead of the return to league action.
Until recently, Arsenal fans were concerned that the 19-year-old hadn’t featured more regularly, but Cowley claimed Arsenal are happy with how Portsmouth are dealing with the loan, and it’s all for the good of the player.
Speaking to the club website after his FA Cup start at the weekend, Azeez seemed to share that sentiment.
“I was really pleased (to get a start) and have been working hard in training in order to get the opportunity,” Azeez said. “Hopefully I can stay in the side and be able to build on this because I’ve been learning a lot – both on and off the pitch.
“I’ll play anywhere, but I enjoyed the role I was given because it allowed me to express myself in an attacking sense.
“It means that when we were able to win back possession, I was closer to the goal in order to make an impact.
“I’m enjoying my time here and it’s helped my development as a player, with the mental side just as important as the physical and technical.”