Manchester United’s talented young goalkeeper Matej Kovar produced another impressive performance against Lincoln City in the EFL Trophy, and looked calm and composed playing against the senior side.
The Czech stopper continued his solid run of form, which has become a regular feature of Neil Wood’s sides season, with a display at Sincill Bank, which showcased his full array of goalkeeping qualities.
United’s young stars were given a footballing lesson by Lincoln in the opening 15 minutes, and struggled to stamp their authority on the game, before James Garner latched onto a perfectly weighted pass from Tahith Chong to give United the lead completely against the run of play.
Largie Ramazani could have put the game to bed but was denied on two occasions by the post and Lincoln’s goalkeeper Grant Smith with a smart save with his legs.
But it was Kovar who ensured that the solitary goal was enough for United’s young side with yet another eye-catching display.
United could have found themselves behind in the opening stages after being carved open, but Kovar came to the rescue with a wonderful kick save, to deny Jorge Grant, who was clean through on goal, with a save straight out of the David de Gea textbook.
The young Red Devils struggled to impose themselves against the League Two outfit and Kovar was forced into a string of saves during the early minutes.
The 19-year-old’s handling was exemplary and whenever the United goal came under siege, the big Czech was there to take the pressure off and calm his team mates down.
Kovar’s self-belief was apparent in the 35th minute, after receiving a back pass, he casually lofted the ball over an on-rushing Lincoln striker to his right-back Puigmal.
The Czech’s distribution was flawless and it highlighted his desire to start United’s attacks through him. With the ball at his feet, Kovar never panics and his footwork will only continue to improve.
There were a couple of occasions in the second half when Lincoln were pressing for an equaliser, Kovar collected a cross and then had the awareness to realise that through a quick throw out to his team mates, there was a counter attacking opportunity.
Lincoln weren’t scared to shoot from long-range, but Kovar caught the ball so cleanly, that it looked like it was going to take something really spectacular to beat the Czech.
The hosts did strike the woodwork twice, but Kovar looked to have had both attempts covered. Just shy of the hour mark, Lincoln had a dangerous free kick on the edge of the box, but yet again Kovar was equal to it and showed he had no intention of palming the ball to safety, he trusts his ability to catch the shots on goal.
Kovar’s performances highlight his ever growing maturity and it wouldn’t be a surprise that come January, the Czech could be the subject of some loan enquiries. Especially as he has shown he can do it against senior sides.
Judging by his form, regular first team football at senior level could only benefit his rapid development.
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