Portsmouth - Pompey battle but lose 2-1 to Club America
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Pompey battle but lose 2-1 to Club America

After a gruelling 42-hour journey the last thing many people would want to do is play a football match, right?

When you have, quite literally, half a dozen 1st team players available to face a team full of experience and international pedigree even less so...

Play a game we did though as the 'American Tour' kicked-off against Club America, one of Mexico's finest club sides no less.

I have to be honest I was expecting something of a battering, and after conceding a couple of early goals it could have easily happened but we battled on and managed to get a goal back in the 2nd half when Tom Kilbey, who 'should' be in for a good season so keep an eye out for this kid, scored.

Below is the official report from The Pompey Site...


Club America 2 Pompey 1
by Mark Storey at the Qualcomm Stadium

Club America's fans came to the Qualcomm Stadium to see Pompey get a hiding.

But the Blues didn't read the script.

There was no heavy defeat, no humiliation for a Pompey side full of youngsters and still reeling from a 42-hour journey just to get here.

The Blues played with a pride and a passion that did full justice to the famous star and crescent badge on their shirts.

Pompey could have buckled after conceding two early goals scored by Enrique Esqueda and Israel Martinez.

But they held firm - and got their reward with a second-half goal from Tom Kilbey.

It would have always been a test for Pompey against one of Mexico's leading sides. But with so many youngsters in the side, it was huge.

Starters Liam O'Brien, Tom Kilbey and Nadir Ciftci have yet to play in a competitive first-team fixture for the Blues. Yet here they were facing a side sprinkled with seasoned internationals.

The make-do-and-mend feel of Pompey was reflected by Hayden Mullins and Matt Ritchie, both midfielders, playing as full-backs.

Trialist Stephen Jordan, last at Burnley, partnered Marc Wilson in central defence, with Kilbey, Richard Hughes and Michael Brown in midfield.

David Nugent spearheaded the attack with Tommy Smith and Nadir Ciftci out wide.

A 42-hour journey to San Diego, taking in three flights and four airports, was hardly the ideal preparation for the Blues, whose only training session came on the morning of the game.

Pompey wore their white, maroon and pink FA Cup final kit but instead of 'Abide With Me' playing before kick-off it was the 'Star Spangled Banner'.

The crowd may have been small but the Club America fans, decked out in yellow and blue, made up for it with their noise, proving the drone of vuvuzelas is not confined to South Africa.

For a side still fatigued from travelling Pompey started brightly, with a 30-yard effort from Ciftci that flew narrowly wide the highlight.

But Club America, managed by former Mexico coach Manuel Lapuente, played with pace and flair and needed just 15 minutes to take the lead.

A ball over the top from Martinez caught Pompey's defence flat-footed, leaving Esqueda to round O'Brien and score.

Two minutes later and a rout beckoned with Martinez racing onto a back-heel and drilling his shot past Pompey's England under-19 goalkeeper.

But Pompey steadied themselves and nearly pulled one back with Ciftci's far-post header from Ritchie's corner cleared off the line by Martinez.

For the handful of travelling Blues fans, it was at least something.

And things got better six minutes after the break when KILBEY scored the club's first-ever goal in North America.

It was a moment shrouded in controversy - not that Pompey were complaining.

When Kilbey tucked in the rebound after Nugent got his head on Ritchie's free-kick, the linesman's flag went straight up for offside.

But the American referee ran straight across to his colleague, had a brief word, and then gave the goal.

Replays on the big screen showed Kilbey was offside, but no-one would argue Pompey aren't due a break.

The Club America players didn't like it and temperatures raised further when Aquivaldo Mosquera stamped on Nugent's back, earning a yellow card.

Martinez should have followed him into the book, but the referee missed his slap on Brown.

Meanwhile Jon Stewart, a half-time substitute for O'Brien, was impressing in Pompey's goal, saving expertly from Daniel Montenegro and Adolfo Rosinei.

But there was no way through for Club America as much as they pressed.

Pompey: O'Brien (Stewart 46); Mullins, Jordan, Wilson, Ritchie; Kilbey (Martin 89), Brown, Hughes (Pack 77); Smith, Nugent (Gregory 81), Ciftci

Club America: Navarrete (Ochoa 46), Corral, Mosquera, Valenzuela, Rojas, Sanchez (Pavel 46), Rosinei (Layun 90), Martinez, Esqueda (Lopez 49), Montenegro, Vuoso

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday July 15 2010

Time: 8:05AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Did anyone get up early to listen to it? Was it even on the Quay or any other station?
Report Abuse
15/07/2010 08:53:00

Nice one for Kilbey - if a defeat to the equivalent of a champs side can be; lol and who'd a thought a Pompey defence could be caught out early and flat footed. Sounds like a bad tempered friendly. I still don't understand why it took 42 hrs to San Diego. I've been there from the uk a few times and ok if you miss a connection it can drag on but not more than 18 hours. It's also only a couple of hours away from at least two major hubs.
Report Abuse
15/07/2010 08:58:00

Did VP not have a reporter at the game? Sounds as though we battled hard against the odds which is the spirit we are going to need.
Report Abuse
15/07/2010 11:02:00

There was nothing wrong with our goal. Kilbey was offside but the ball came off a defenders head, not Nugent's. That's what the ref saw and that's why he overruled the linesman.
Report Abuse
15/07/2010 11:33:00

Frippy, Kilbey looked offside when Nugent flicked on the free-kick, so even though their defender got the final touch it still looked dodgy
Report Abuse
15/07/2010 12:48:00

saw the first half ! our defence was awful... our passing was poor too but can let them off as the jetlag etc plus it was 4 in the morning... if we are stuck with this squad come start of season we will be fighting relegation and thats without the points deduction...
Report Abuse
15/07/2010 14:02:00

Hm . . its looking like we will be stuck with this squad - minus the ones we can sell!
Report Abuse
15/07/2010 20:28:00

Oh, ok pros, I didn't think Nugent made any contact so that's what I based that on. He seemed to go for the header but completely miss it.
Report Abuse
16/07/2010 00:12:00

If we start this season with these lads, the main worry is that the seniors; Mullins, Hughes, Smith and Nugent (not Brown and Wilson) where the players that constantly lost their places since they aren't good enough! I have a lot of believe in Mullins this year, but I have doubts about the others! We desperatley need Moka, James and perhaps Rocha and then we loan an attacking midfielder, as it seems to me that we are very short in these!
Pompey Malta
Report Abuse
16/07/2010 08:41:00

Who was captaining the side? Anyone knows?
Pompey Malta
Report Abuse
16/07/2010 08:42:00

Nugent wore the armband I think.
Report Abuse
16/07/2010 18:17:00


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