AFC Bournemouth kicked off their pre-season with a 2-1 victory over Portuguese side Estoril in Spain on Saturday.
The game had been due to be played at the Marbella Municipal Stadium, however the pitch was ‘badly affected by a serious bacterial disease’ forcing a venue change.
The match instead was played at the Marbella Football Center, where AFC Bournemouth had been enjoying their pre-season training camp.
AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe as expected used the first game of pre-season to build up fitness, with two different XI’s being handed the chance to play 45 minutes of football.
The first half kicked off with Artur Boruc in goal, Ryan Fraser, Steve Cook, Cherries record signing Nathan Ake and Charlie Daniels making up the defence.
New signing Connor Mahoney was selected in midfield alongside England Under 20’s World Cup winning captain Lewis Cook, Andrew Surman and Marc Pugh, upfront was Lys Mousset and Benik Afobe.
The first half ended goalless, with Howe making 11 changes at half time.
Adam Federici returned from injury to replace Boruc, Simon Francis, Baily Cargill, Tyrone Mings, Matt Worthington, Dan Gosling, Harry Arter, Jordon Ibe, Kyle Taylor, Maxi Gradel and Joshua King made up the XI.
The Cherries took the lead when Gradel set up Ibe to race through and beat the goalkeeper one on one.
Estoril got back level when Federici handled outside of box, Eduardo stepped up to take the free kick and although he didn’t curl the ball too close to the corner he still beat Federici.
On 65 minutes Sam Surridge replaced King who had been carrying a knock from international duty.
Maxi Gradel scored the winner with 20 minutes remaining.
‘I thought it was a patchy performance, but that’s to be expected at this stage of pre-season.’
? AFC Bournemouth 🍒 (@afcbournemouth) 16 July 2017
I didn’t think there was a lack of effort from the players. As people have said it was bloody hot. Mousett was excellent first half and Gradel second. I would definitely try to keep Max and play him in the number 10 role when we need creativity.
It was weird being able to hear the players talk to each other. All of them clearly felt comfortable having a go at each other, even the youth team players. A well integrated bunch I’d say. – Join the conversation here.
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