Sunderland 0 Vitoria Setubal 0: Full-time match report

Adam Johnson
Adam Johnson
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SUNDERLAND concluded their pre-season tour of Portugal with a dull stalemate against Vitoria Setubal.

The Black Cats, who netted just once in their previous two games on the Algarve, couldn’t find a breakthrough in an encounter which was again largely devoid of clear-cut chances.

The closest Sunderland came was early in the second half through Adam Johnson’s long-range effort, although the winger should later have been awarded a penalty.

Gus Poyet’s side return to the UK on Sunday, ahead of next week’s friendlies against Real Betis and Udinese.

Eight of Sunderland’s starting XI from Wednesday’s defeat to CD Nacional remained in the side, with Liam Bridcutt, Charis Mavrias and Valentin Roberge coming into the fold.

Bridcutt and Roberge took the places of Lee Cattermole and Wes Brown - who were both on the bench - while Mavrias replaced the injured Billy Jones.

There was no place in the side for Vito Mannone, who had been pencilled in to play the full 90 minutes, yet was ruled out through illness.

The game began at a snail’s pace before Costel Pantilimon produced a superb save to deny Vitoria the opener.

Quieros skinned Connor Wickham on the right-hand side of the area and then unleashed a shot cross-come-shot which was blocked before richocheting around the area.

Right-back Quieros then pounced on the loose ball and struck a powerful right-footed shot towards the far corner from eight yards out which was brilliantly blocked by the outstretched right leg of Pantilimon.

At the other end, Roberge then headed straight at goalkeeper Ricardo Baptista from Adam Johnson’s left wing corner.

But the remainder of the first half followed the pattern of Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat to CD Nacional, with Sunderland on top and passing the ball well, yet struggling to create clear-cut chances.

HALF-TIME Sunderland 0 Vitoria Setubal 0

Within two minutes of the restart, the lively Johnson almost broke the deadlock in spectacular fashion.

Johnson controlled Steven Fletcher’s flick-on with his chest and unleashed a half-volley from 25 yards which just cleared the crossbar.

The winger should have been awarded a penalty in the 58th minute after being sandwiched by Ney and Paulo Tavares as he surged into the box, yet the referee waved play on.

The game became increasingly stale as a spectacle, although Vitoria midfielder Pelkas whistled a low shot just past the post from distance in the 73rd minute.

With six minutes to go, an off-balance Bridcutt let fly from 25 yards with a decent effort which swerved high and wide of the target.

FULL-TIME Sunderland 0 Vitoria 0

SUNDERLAND: Pantilimon, Mavrias, O’Shea, Roberge, van Aanholt, Bridcutt, Gomez, Giaccherini (Ba 76), Johnson, Wickham, Fletcher (N’Diaye 59). Subs not used: Cattermole, Brown, Dixon. Booked: Bridcutt (83), Mavrias (86), Ba (90)

VITORIA SETUBAL: Ricardo Baptista, Venancio, Joao, Paulo Tavares, Giovani, Miguel Pedro, Marcos, Quieros, Dani, Ney, Ziquinha. Booked: Pelkas (75)