Valencia tops Galatasaray 2-1 in pre-season friendly

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Fribourg (Switzerland), July 22 (IANS) Valencia kicked off its pre-season schedule with a 2-1 friendly win over Turkey’s Galatasaray, a match in which the Spanish-league football club looked superior overall.

After a mostly uneventful first half-hour at Stade Universitaire Saint-Leonard in this western city, Portuguese defender Ruben Vezo opened the scoring for Valencia in the 36-minute mark when he capitalized on a pass by Nacho Gil and some lax defense by the Turkish club to score past net minder Ismail Cipe, reports Efe.

Valencia’s defence also was shaky towards the end of the first half, especially on the wings, but Galatasaray’s forwards failed to get anything past Spanish goalkeeper Jaume Domenech.

The La Liga club, which came out with an almost entirely new batch of players at the start of the second half, stretched its lead to 2-0 on a goal by Toni Lato in the 52nd minute.

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On the play, the Spanish defender did well to control a long pass and then slotted a left-footed shot past Cipe.

Valencia’s spacing and organization generally were a bright spot for the team in its first pre-season match.

The goalkeepers also performed well, with substitute net minder Cristian Rivero making an excellent save on a header by midfielder Ryan Donk off a corner kick in the 58th minute.

Rivero was helpless to stop Galatasaray’s lone goal off the foot of Nigerian forward Henry Onyekuru, which came in the 69th minute and was the product of a defensive breakdown.

Valencia has started training in Switzerland in preparation for a busy 2018-2019 season that includes a return to the Champions League after a two-season absence.

–IANS

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