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Aberdeen 2 - 1 Viking FK

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 1 Viking FK

Aberdeen scorers: Wright 61, McLean 85.
Viking FK scorers: Bytyqi 3.

08/09/2015 | KO: 19:30

Vikings Return Empty Handed as Dons Come From Behind to Win

Bytyqi 3, Wright 61, McLean 85

Aberdeen this evening beat Viking FK 2-1 to retain the Energy Cities Cup in what was an entertaining match. Viking were the stronger side in the first half and deservedly went ahead. Scott Brown in goal made a couple of good stops. After the break the Dons stepped it up a gear and equalised through Scott Wright. Youngster Joe Nuttall impressed when he came on and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. Aberdeen then won the game late on when Kenny McLean headed home from close range.

match report

Despite the absence of a number of first team regulars due to international duty The Dons were still able to field a strong side for this Energy Cities Cup match against Viking Stavanger.

Scott Brown started between the sticks with a back four of Logan, Rose, Quinn and Considine in front of him. Willo Flood captained the side in midfield alongside Barry Robson with Pawlett, Smith and the youngster Frank Ross tasked with supporting David Goodwillie up front.

The Norwegian side took the lead with their first attack of the game after catching The Dons short on the break in the third minute. Logan couldn't get enough on a defensive header which allowed Abdullahi to pounce and race through on goal from the halfway line. Abdullahi could have pulled the trigger but under pressure from Flood opted to slip the ball across for his teammate Bytyqi to knock the ball past Brown.

The Dons response was to get a few dangerous looking crosses into the box but Austbo in the Viking goal remained relatively untroubled.

In the 20th minute the away side almost doubled their lead when Bytyqi charged down the right wing before picking out Abdullahi at the back post, the header from point blank range was on target but Brown made an outstanding save. Flood forced the first real save from the Viking Stavanger keeper a few minutes later with a long range strike but it was a comfortable stop for Austbo.

Aberdeen were then caught short after an unfortunate break of the ball in midfield which left Adegbenro free down the left. The winger lifted his head and tried to pick out Abdullahi in the middle but fortunately for The Dons his pass was just a bit too heavy.

Just before the break Adegbenro wriggled his way into the box with a sublime piece of skill but curled his effort just wide of Scott Brown's far post.

The start of the second half saw Derek McInnes make a number of changes to his side with Shinnie, Taylor, McLean and Wright replacing Considine, Logan, Goodwillie and Ross. Just after the half-time break a low cross fell for McLean 6 yards from goal but his strike was saved at point blank range.

Adegbenro was again causing The Dons some issues at the back when he drove into the box before cutting the ball back for Thorsteinsson, red shirts quickly crowded the Stavanger man and his shot was hit straight at Brown. Moments later Taylor had to be sharp to put in a block with a strike from Abdullahi set for goal.

The next chance came for the home side in a half that was already more open than the first when Wright teed up McLean but he couldn't direct his header towards the target. An equaliser from The Dons was looking increasingly likely as Pawlett exchanged passes with Smith before curling a strike just past the post from inside the area.

Aberdeen were finding gaps that weren't there in the first half and it was no surprise when they did eventually equalise in the 61st minute. McLean got to the byline and floated in a cross which found its way to Wright after a slight deflection and he knocked the ball past the keeper from six yards.

Immediately after that goal more changes were made as Hayes, Storie and Jack replaced Flood, Quinn and Robson. The Dons had a shout for a penalty turned down after Shinnie appeared to be pulled down by Soares but you got the feeling at this stage that other opportunities would soon present themselves to the home side.
With just under 20 minutes of the match remaining Joe Nuttall was handed his Pittodrie debut as a replacement for Pawlett and the striker almost made the perfect start. Hayes showed a bit of creativity to make enough space for a cross and Nuttall was unfortunate to see his sliding effort head just the wrong side of the post.

The striker had another two chances moments later. Firstly with a header which was on target but too close to the keeper. Then when the Stavanger defence misjudged a long ball from Taylor to leave Nuttall through on his own, he approached the box with composure but couldn't direct his strike away from the keeper and into the goal, it was a good save.

The keeper had to be alert again when a cross from Hayes almost dropped in underneath the crossbar but it was beginning to look as though the match would be heading for penalties.

In the 85th minute Hayes delivered an enticing ball into the box and McLean once again found himself in the right place at the right time to turn the ball into the net and continue his excellent goalscoring start to the season.

Scott Wright was unfortunate not to get his second of the night in the final minute of normal time as he watched a low strike head just past the post from 18 yards. The Dons looked keen to add to their tally and were given one final opportunity to do so when the keeper parried the ball into the path of Nuttall but he was unable to direct the ball into the net.

The final whistle blew shortly after which meant that Aberdeen retained the Energy Cities Cup thanks to a fine second half performance. Importantly The Dons appeared to come through the match unscathed in terms of injury with a number of players getting valuable minutes under their belts ahead of Saturday's clash with Celtic at Pittodrie.

Team: Brown, Logan (Shinnie 46), Considine (Taylor 46), Flood (Storie 62), Smith, Robson (Jack 62), Pawlett (Nuttal 76), Goodwillie (McLean 46), Quinn (Hayes 62), Ross (Wright 46), Rose. Sub Mutch

Viking: Austbø, Danielsen, Soares, Sigurdsson, Haugen, Thioune, Jørgensen, Adegbenro, Bytyqi, Abdullahi, Moore Subs Østbø, Sverrisson, Thorsteinsson, Solli, Kleppa, Bringaker, Flåte
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Brown, Logan (Shinnie 46), Considine (Taylor 46), Flood, Smith, Robson (Jack 62), Pawlett (Nuttall 76), Goodwillie (McLean 46), Quinn (Hayes 62), Ross (Wright 46), Rose.

Unused Subs: Mutch.
Viking FK Teamsheet
Austbø, Danielsen, Soares, Sigurdsson, Haugen, Thioune, Jørgensen, Adegbenro, Bytyqi, Abdullahi, Moore. Unused Subs: Østbø, Sverrisson, Thorsteinsson, Solli, Kleppa, Bringaker, Flåte.
Attendance: 4,396
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen