Sunderland set for Benfica opener

16 June 2009 11:14
Sunderland will face Benfica and Atletico Madrid in the Amsterdam Tournament after the draw for the event at Ajax's Amsterdam Arena was made. The Black Cats open the annual pre-season tournament against Portuguese side Benfica on Friday, 24 July. Two days later they play Atletico in the four-team tournament. Hosts Ajax are the other team in the event, which also awards points for goals scored, although they will not face Steve Bruce's Black Cats. Sunderland and Benfica, who both play at grounds named the Stadium of Light, have never met before in any format. The Eagles, as Benfica are known, possess an impressive line-up, with Argentina midfielder Pablo Aimar the focal-point of their attack. Atletico have former Premier League players Jose Antonio Reyes, Diego Forland, Luis Garcia and Florent Sinama-Pongolle on their books. Ajax face Atletico Madrid in the second game of the opening day and end the event against Benfica on the Sunday. Also pencilled in for the Black Cats are trips to Scottish Premier League sides Celtic on 1 August and Heart of Midlothian a week later.

Source: BBC_Sport