Match: Villa U23 v Valencia CF
Date: October 5, 2016
Competition: Premier League International Cup
Venue: Villa Park
Weather: 11C, windy
Callum O’Hare (41 minutes, 82 minutes)
Carlos Soler Barragan (45 minutes)
Callum O’Hare’s brace earned Villa victory in their Premier League International Cup Group E opener at Villa Park.
In what was a feisty encounter throughout, the claret and blues started brightly and were denied by the woodwork early doors – Rory Hale’s crisp effort crashing off the post – youngster Jordan Cox unable to convert the rebound.
Viktor Johansson once again was effective between the sticks – his smart save turned Rafael Mir Vicente’s effort behind for a corner.
The contest opened up as the first period drew to a close.
There was a huge let off when Vicente met a whipped in free-kick, his header took a deflection behind for a corner before Tom Leggett’s delightful cross just evaded everyone in a claret and blue shirt.
Striker O’Hare gave Villa the lead four minutes shy of half-time, heading home a cross from the right.
Valencia were level soon after - Carlos Soler Barragan curling home a fine free-kick.
In what was almost a sense of déjà vu, Barragan almost repeated the trick early in the second half – his free-kick from a similar positon striking the crossbar.
O’Hare came closest to capping off what was a fine team move – Hale feeding Leggett up from the back – O'Hare's shot saved.
They regained the lead with just under 10 minutes of the regulation 90 remaining - O’Hare finishing emphatically after goalkeeper Ferran Ferri Escuriet spilled an initial attempt.
Stopper Johannson was then again alert, making two key saves from substitute Ariday Cabero Suarez in quick succession.
Villa were awarded a penalty in the closing stages after O'Hare was fouled - Khalid Abdo saw his spot-kick saved.
Tempers flared as the visitors were reduced to 10 men when Ariday Suarez was shown a second yellow card.
VILLA U23: Johansson, Clark, Abdoul, Sundman, Leggett, Blackett-Taylor, Hale, Abdo (C), Cox (Clarke 81), O’Hare, Davis. Unused subs: Sarkic, Linley, Mooney, Prosser, Knibbs.
VALENCIA CF: Escuriet, Morales, Grueso, Garcia, L’Anson, Perez, Barea (A. Suarez 75), Barragan (Valderrama 65), Ribos, I. Suarez (Pareja 73), Vicente. Unused subs: Salva, Konyk, Delgado, Gongalves.
Rafeal Mir Vicente
Jordi Sanchez Ribos
Maros Ferris Morales
Ariday Cabrera Suarez (Two bookable offences)
Referee: Robert Whitton
Assistant referee 1: Kieran Bailey
Assistant referee 2: Jonathan Burridge
Fourth Official: Sean Feerick