Friendlies round-up - Celtic down Sounders
Celtic bounced back from their friendly defeat against Manchester United
with a 2-1 win over MLS franchise Seattle Sounders.
Seattle lost the initiative after 29 minutes when goalkeeper Terry Boss
was dismissed for a foul on Georgios Samaras, who converted the penalty.
The 45,631 strong crowd then saw second-half goals from Patrick McCourt and David Estrada as the Scots held on. After half an hour Samaras found space to run at the Sounders back line and tempted Boss into a trip that cost his side a penalty and him a red card.
Jordan Jennings was immediately summoned from the bench but could not stop Samaras' spot-kick. Andreas Hinkel went close for the Hoops nine minutes into the second period, Jennings keeping his shot out.
But he could not repeat the trick 10 minutes later when Milan Misun played in McCourt, who finished with aplomb. To their credit, the MLS franchise hit back within two minutes, Estrada combining with Taylor Graham before hammering his shot high into the net.
Queen of the South 0-1 Rangers
Kenny Miller was the match-winner as Rangers began their pre-season campaign with a 1-0 victory over Queen of the South. Boss Walter Smith named an experienced side for Queens' veteran Jim Thomson's testimonial at Palmerston Park.
Miller had the best of the chances early on, before Steven Davis was denied by the post from a free-kick. The Irn-Bru First Division outfit suffered a blow shortly before half-time when goalkeeper Roddy McKenzie was forced out of the action. And, with no substitute keeper on the bench, Neil Scally was forced to take over between the sticks.
However, in a sporting gesture, Rangers offered their own replacement keeper, Neil Alexander, to their hosts for the second half. But Alexander was left picking the ball out of the back of the net as Miller raced on to a Steven Naismith ball to lash the only goal of the game past his Ibrox team-mate with 54 minutes gone.
Manchester City 3-0 Portland Timbers
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini declared himself satisfied after his side kicked off their pre-season tour of the United States with a 3-0 victory over Portland Timbers.
Goals from Stephen Ireland, Emmanuel Adebayor and Jo ensured City eased to a routine win. Mancini told the club's official website: "The main thing is that we came through without any serious injuries and that is important.
"I am sure the players were glad to get into action after two weeks of hard work and I thought we did well against a side that is progressing in the United States and which was well prepared and fought hard all night.
"It was good for the young players to show what they could do. We used the defensive ones in the first half and the midfielders and strikers in the second half.
"This was only a first step but a big one on the way to the start of the Premier League season."
Brisbane Roar 1-2 Everton
Young French striker Magaye Gueye scored the winner as Everton beat A-League club Brisbane Roar 2-1 to complete a clean sweep of wins from their three-match pre-season tour of Australia.Gueye tapped home the winner seven minutes from the end after Jack Rodwell's second-half opener had been cancelled out by Kosta Barbarouses.
New signing Jermaine Beckford made his first start in an Everton shirt and was almost gifted a first goal when he just failed to reach an under-hit backpass.
Fellow striker Louis Saha then warmed the gloves of former Norwich goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos before ending a goalless first-half with a disappointingly tame shot after his bursting run.Rodwell opened the scoring four minutes after the re-start with a delightful curling shot from outside the penalty area.
The visitors looked the most likely to add a second with Seamus Coleman firing just over before Victor Anichebe, who came on for Rodwell, was also off target.The Roar found an unlikely equaliser after 66 minutes when Barbarouses fired home from a tight angle after a quickly-taken free-kick.
But 20-year-old substitute Gueye made sure Everton left Australia with a perfect record as he tapped in Jose Baxter's cross from close range after 83 minutes.
San Jose Earthquakes 0-0 Tottenham
Tottenham began their pre-season campaign with a goalless draw against the San Jose Earthquakes in the USA overnight. Harry Redknapp's men, who are readying themselves for a shot at the Champions League this season, failed to make a breakthrough despite creating the better opportunities.
Spurs were missing the majority of their World Cup stars, with those who graced the South African showpiece this summer given an extended break. Robbie Keane, back from a loan spell at Celtic, was therefore given a chance to shine up front and he came closest to breaking the deadlock.
The Irishman saw one effort ruled out for offside, before spurning the best opening of the game as Tottenham toiled to no avail. Understandably, Redknapp's side were far from their fluent best, with the San Jose heat and a lack of activity leaving them a little rusty.
They will, however, be looking for continued improvement throughout their time in the States, with Champions League qualifiers looming on the horizon.
Their next opportunity to get a win under their belt will come on Thursday when they meet the New York Red Bulls, who will have former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry within their ranks. Spurs will then wrap up their pre-season tour with a contest against Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon on 25th July.
Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea
Michael Essien marked his return from injury with a goal as Barclays Premier League champions Chelsea defeated Crystal Palace 1-0 at Selhurst Park.
It was an eventful afternoon for the Ghanaian who has been sidelined with a knee problem since the turn of the year.
The 27-year-old came close to opening the scoring but his shot hit the crossbar.It looked like Essien suffered an injury towards the end of the first half but he emerged after the restart and scored the only goal of the game late on, curling a shot beyond Julian Speroni from the edge of the area.
Ventura County Fusion 1-2 Portsmouth
Goals from Marlon Pack and David Nugent saw Pompey record a 2-1 victory over Ventura County Fusion at Oxnard.Only Nugent and Hughes were the recognised players in a Blues starting XI that had an average age of just 21.
Former Burnley defender Stephen Jordan played and Hayden Mullins and Michael Brown also joined in as substitutes.Marlon Pack opened the scoring after VC 'keeper Bryan Hill couldn't hold Matt Ritchie's shot, which allowed Pack to tap the ball in from all of two yards.
Armenian midfielder Hakop Avesyan levelled for Fusion with a powerful strike but Nugent won the game after curling in a free kick that had been laid off by Mullins.
Pompey's next game on tour will take place in Canada where they will play FC Edmonton.
Arka Gdynia 0-0 Dundee United
United were held to a goalless draw by Polish side Arka Gdynia in their pre-season clash in Austria on Sunday. Tannadice boss Peter Houston named a strong starting line-up for the clash with the Polish Premier League side, with Sean Dillon, Garry Kenneth, Jon Daly and David Goodwillie among those who started the game.
United had the best of the chances, with Craig Conway hitting the post from a free-kick, before Daly also hit the woodwork with a header. After the break, Daly, David Robertson, Damian Casalinouvo and Prince Buaben all came close for the Tangerines but failed to break the deadlock as the match ended in stalemate.
Peterhead 0-2 Aberdeen
Aberdeen bounced back from their defeat to Fraserburgh when they ran out 2-0 winners against Peterhead in a pre-season friendly on Sunday. The Dons crashed to a surprise 3-1 defeat at Bellslea Park yesterday but looked far more impressive in this outing.
Boss Mark McGhee opted not to make as many changes at the interval, resulting in a more solid team performance.
The breakthrough came after 59 minutes when youngster Mitch Megginson curled home the opener from all of 30 yards. Michael Paton then sealed the win with just four minutes to go from the penalty spot, after Clark Robertson was brought down in the box to win the spot-kick.
SC Olhanense 1-2 Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest opened their pre-season friendly campaign with a 2-1 win over SC Olhanense in Portugal.
Robert Earnshaw, Forest's leading goalscorer last season, opened the scoring in the first half and Matt Thornhill doubled the lead before the break. Olhansense reduced the deficit in the second period but Forest held on for victory.
Manager Billy Davies gave 20 of his first-team squad game time, while Joel Lynch (back) and goalkeeper Karl Darlow were the only players not involved.
Darlington 0-1 Sunderland
Darlington kicked-off their pre-season schedule with a encouraging display against Premier League Sunderland.
The Black Cats snatched victory in the closing stages at The Northern Echo Arena with substitute Bolo Zenden scoring, but it was Quakers who took the plaudits. Mark Cooper's first game in the Darlington dug-out saw a resilient performance from a side featuring most of the club's new signings.
But an organised and defensively sound Quakers played like a team who understand their roles. Nine players have arrived since the end of last season, including defender Danny Hone and striker Liam Hatch who joined on loan last week, and both played yesterday while Sam Russell was impressive on his return to the club.
The goalkeeper was named man of the match after making several fine saves and providing an assured presence between the posts. Russell was unable to stop Zenden's low strike from the edge of the area finding the back of the net inside the final ten minutes, however, if Quakers are able to replicate the same type of endeavour in the Blue Square Bet Premier then an immediate return to the Football League looks on the cards.
Portimonense 3-0 Cardiff City
Cardiff went down 3-0 to Portimonense in the final game of their pre-season tour of Portugal. The Bluebirds fell behind as early as the fifth minute when Candelas followed up to steer the ball home after City goalkeeper David Marshall had saved an initial shot.
The Portuguese side doubled their lead in the 30th minute when Marshall fumbled Candelas' 25-yard free-kick. Portimonense rounded off a deserved victory late on when Anderson's shot on the turn beat substitute goalkeeper Tom Heaton.
Leek Town 1-7 Macclesfield Town
Macclesfield boss Gary Simpson was content with his side's performance as they coasted to a 7-1 pre-season victory over Leek. Emile Sinclair grabbed a hat-trick and there were also goals for Tyrone Barnet, Adam Roberts, Shaun Brisley and Andy Nicholls in a one-sided fixture at Harrison Park.
Simpson told the club's official website: "I'm very happy. Some people might point out that we were playing Leek or whatever, but you can only beat what is put in front of you.
"We'll come up against stiffer opposition before the season starts and that will help answer a few more questions we might have about the lads." Nicholls was one of four trialists to feature for Macc and Simpson added: "I'm getting closer to being able to make a decision I think.
"We've seen them in a few games so I'm making my mind up. Of course it depends on what we might have in the budget."
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