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FC Zurich 2-1 VILLA
Villa's Swiss tour ended with a defeat as two penalties were enough for FC Zurich.
12th Jul 2008
FC Zurich 2-1 VILLA

Villa's Swiss tour ended with a defeat as two penalties were enough for FC Zurich.

On a positive note new signing Steve Sidwell made his debut with a 45-minute outing and Gabby Agbonlahor scored a well-taken goal.

This was much more of a test for Villa and will surely have stepped-up preparations for next week's Intertoto Cup kick-off.

Laursen almost opened the scoring inside the first minute but his powerful header from a Maloney corner was cleared off the line.

The hosts had a penalty two minutes later as Laursen brought down Stahel just inside the box. Abdi made no mistake from the spot.

Agbonlahor found the net on five but his volleyed effort from Harewood's right-wing cross was offside.

Agbonlahor sent a tame effort straight at Zurich keeper Leoni on 10 as Villa pressed for an equaliser.

Moments later Knight blocked a rising right-foot drive from Djuric at the other end.

Agbonlahor levelled matters on 17, powering his way into the Zurich box and slotting a low angled drive beyond Leoni.

Maloney chipped onto the roof of the net on 22 as Villa forced three corners in quick succession.

Laursen almost put Villa ahead on 26 but his powerful header from a Routledge corner was spectacularly saved by Leoni.

Sidwell almost had a debut goal on 33 but his rising header from another Routledge corner was tipped over the bar.

Harewood's low drive was blocked by Barmettler on 40 after good work from Sidwell on the edge of the box.

Agbonlahor raced in from the right on 51 but saw his low drive deflected behind by keeper Leoini.

Aegerter might have restored Zurich's lead on 56 but dragged a right-foot shot wide from the edge of the box.

Laursen sent a header from Young's right-wing corner straight at Leoni two minutes later.

Salifou blocked Stahel's low drive on the line on 67 as the hosts enjoyed their best spell of the second-half.

Carew almost put Villa ahead two minutes later but his half volley from Young's centre was saved by Leoni.

Zurich had their second penalty of the game on 79 as Knight brought down Mehmedi. Abdi again slotted home from the spot though Taylor got a hand to the ball.

The Villa keeper denied Abdi a hat-trick on 85, parrying a rising drive.

FCZ: Leoni, Aegerter, Okonkwo, Nicki, Stahel, Djuric, Rochat, Barmettler, Abdi, Hassli, Tihinen. Subs: Guatelli, Stucki, Koch, Ladner, Mehmedi, Buchel.

VILLA: Taylor, Sidwell, Laursen, Harewood, Agbonlahor, Knight, Routledge, Reo-Coker, Baker, Gardner, Maloney. Subs: Young (for Routledge ht), Carew (for Harewood ht), Williams, Delfouneso (for Agbonlahor 72), Salifou (for Sidwell ht), Petrov (for Maloney ht), Stieber, Albrighton (for Reo-Coker 90), Osbourne (for Baker 42), Parish.

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