Penalty shootout sees Cardiff City prevail
Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Cardiff City 1 (Bogle 40')
Real Valladolid 1 (Barba 61')
(Cardiff City win 4-2 on penalties)
Real Valladolid further tuned-up for their opening La Liga fixture in August when they tackled Cardiff City in Edmonton, Canada. For the second match in a row for both teams, the scores were level at 1-1 when the final whistle sounded. Following a draw in regulation time, it had been decreed that the affair would be settled by penalties. Ultimately, the Welsh side prevailed in what was a half-hearted shootout, but both sides will be satisfied that the match served its purpose of further building up fitness and squad cohesion.
Neil Warnock made seven adjustments to his side following their draw at New Mexico United earlier in the week, including replacing goalkeeper Neil Etheridge with Joe Day and bringing in Canadian international Junior Hoilett following his Gold Cup exploits. Hoillet assumed the role of captain in front of a welcoming home crowd. Omar Bogle started up front for the first time after coming on as a substitute to score in their previous match and there were starting places for the under-23 defensive pairing of Cameron Coxe and Ciaron Brown.
Sergio made eight changes to the starting line-up who took the field against San Jose Earthquakes on Tuesday night in California. He started with José Antonio Caro in goals after coming on as a second-half substitute last time out. Most of the starters in this match had been halftime replacements against the Earthquakes as Sergio appeared to separate the squad into two clear groups. Goal scorer Sandro dropped to the bench to begin with, as the front pairing took the shape of Óscar Plano and Sergi Guardiola and there was a starting spot for new midfielder Álvaro Aguado.
The balance of play was evenly shared in the early stages of the match, with the first real opportunity coming when Hoillet’s through-ball carved open the heart of the Pucela defense and Caro had to be quick off the line to clear the ball out for a throw-in.
In the 25th minute, Nacho sent in a cross from the left which was aimed for Óscar Plano, but it took a touch off a defender’s head and fell kindly to Sergi Guardiola at the back post. However, the usually reliable striker uncharacteristically wasted the opportunity as he flashed his left-footed shot high over the bar.
Caro made way for Samu Pérez on 35 minutes, and the young goalkeeper’s first act of duty was to pick the ball out of the net when the Welsh side took the lead through a header. A Cardiff throw-in on the left flank eventually saw a cross come in from Greg Cunningham and Bogle outjumped Kiko Olivas and Joaquín to plant the ball firmly in the goal.
As he did in the previous match, Sergio sent out a vastly different eleven for the second half, with Samu Peréz being the only survivor from the first period of play. Míchel took the captain’s armband from Javi Moyano and new additions Fede Barba, Fede San Emetorio and Sandro all featured from the restart. There was also the introduction of Promesas players Diego Alende, who played the final 45 minutes, and Kike Peréz.
Waldo began the second period brightly, and his elusiveness allowed him to find Sandro who unleashed a powerful, long range effort which – despite being accurate – was comfortably held by Day.
Pucela were back on level terms shortly after the hour mark through Barba, the Italian taking advantage of some slack defending to bundle the ball home from close range after the Welsh defence had not dealt effectively with a Míchel free-kick from the right. Masip took over in goal from Samu Pérez prior to play restarting to for the last half an hour.
There were little in the way of clear-cut opportunities in the final third of the match until the last moments when Joe Bennet, a second half replacement for Hoillet, went close with a drive that flew narrowly past Masip’s post.
In the penalty shootout, befitting of the exhibition status of the match, neither side appeared to give 100% effort. Greg Cunningham took the first for Cardiff and found the net, only for David Mayoral to draw the tie level. Omar Bogle was denied by Masip, but then Day was equal to the task when Fernando Calero took his attempt and the scores remained at 1-1. Bennet edged the Bluebirds ahead and their advantage remained when Day got the better of Kike Pérez. Will Vaulks lashed home his spot-kick before Chris Ramos netted to make it 3-2. Needing to score to win, Josh Murphy stepped up and got the ball past an undercooked attempt at a dive left from Masip and Cardiff City took the honours.
Both squads return to their native bases to further prepare for the upcoming season. Cardiff City entertain Nice on Saturday July 27th, the same day that Real Valladolid play Racing Santander in Medina de Rioseco, northwest of Valladolid.
Joe Day; Cameron Coxe, Curtis Nelson, Ciaron Brown, Greg Cunningham, Loic Damour (Will Vaulks 66’), Joe Ralls (Aaron Bolger 80’), Bobby De Cordova-Reid (James Waite 60’), Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (Josh Murphy 60’) Junior Hoillet (Capt.) (Joe Bennet 60’), Omar Bogle.
First half – José Antonio Caro (Samu Pérez 35’), Nacho, Kiko Olivas, Joaquín, Javi Moyano (Capt.), Rubén Alcaraz, Álvaro Aguado, Jorge De Frutos, Waldo, Óscar Plano, Sergi Guardiola.
Second half – Samu Peréz (Jordi Masip 62’); Fede Barba, Fernando Calero, Diego Alende, Antoñito, Toni Villa, Fede San Emetorio, Míchel (Capt.), Pablo Hervías (David Mayoral 75’), Chris Ramos, Sandro (Kike Pérez 78’).