REPORT: Vitoria Setubal 0 Sunderland 0

by Andrew Lisgo

Black Cats draw final match of Portugal trip.

Sunderland rounded off their pre-season trip to the Algarve with a goalless draw against Portuguese Premeira Liga side Vitoria Setubal.

The third game in five days for the Black Cats meant that the Wearsiders have won one, lost one and drawn one whilst playing in Portugal ahead of the new Barclays Premier League season.

Adam Johnson came closest to a Sunderland winner, drilling a super effort narrowly over the bar in the early stages of the second half.

The winger was also denied a penalty, while Black Cats keeper Costel Pantilimon pulled off a superb close-range save early in the first period to keep Setubal out.

The Romanian started his second consecutive game for the club, with Vito Mannone suffering from illness.

And the 6’8” stopper showed great reflexes on the quarter-hour to block a shot from Queiros inside the six-yard box after a scramble inside the Sunderland area.

As on Wednesday evening against Nacional, Connor Wickham started the game on the left flank and he produced some good link-up play with Patrick van Aanholt, who continued to push forward on the overlap.

Sunderland started to find their rhythm as the half went on and created several chances within minutes of each other.

Left-back van Aanholt’s burst forward saw him brought down, with Johnson’s whipped cross from the left finding a crowded box before the ball was cleared. Emanuele Giaccherini then played in Charis Mavrias on the right flank and his delivery was met by Jordi Gomez, but the Spaniard’s header was saved by Ricardo Baptista in the Setubal goal.

The Black Cats made a bright start to the second half with Johnson almost scoring in spectacular fashion. Pantilimon’s long kick up the pitch found the winger, who shifted the ball onto his left foot before smashing a powerful shot from 25 yards out which flashed narrowly over the crossbar.

Johnson again brought the game to life with a mazy run, cutting inside two defenders on the edge of the box - it looked as if the winger was then tripped in the penalty area, but the claims from the travelling Wearside fans and players were turned away by the referee.

Just a moment later, Gomez burst forward, hitting a long-range effort which flashed wide of the goal.

On the hour mark, Gus Poyet made his first change of the game with Alfred N’Diaye replacing Steven Fletcher, resulting in Wickham taking the front-man role and Giaccherini moving onto the left wing.

At the other end, Setubal had their first real chance of the second half with substitute Pelkas hitting a low shot just past the post from outside the box.

With fifteen minutes to go, Poyet replaced Giaccherini with El Hadji Ba, with the young Frenchman taking up a role in the centre of the park alongside Liam Bridcutt and N’Diaye.

Bridcutt came close to a winner late on, driving forward before blasting an effort just over the bar.

After 10 days in the Algarve, the Black Cats will return to Wearside on Sunday before facing Real Betis and then Italian side Udinese at Heritage Park in their final two friendlies.

Sunderland: Pantilimon, van Aanholt, Mavrias, O’Shea (c), Roberge, Johnson, Giaccherini (Ba, 76), Bridcutt, Gomez, Wickham, Fletcher (N'Diaye, 59).

Subs not used: Dixon, Brown, Cattermole.

Vitoria Setubal: Baptista, Venancio, Joao, Paulo Tavares, Giovani, Miguel Pedro, Marcos, Querios, Dani, Ney, Zequinha.

Substitutes: Lukas, Kiko, Yann, Francois, Miguel Lourenco, Junior Ponce, Ericson, Forbes, Pelkas, Diogo Rosado.