Valencia CF drew 0-0 FC Porto on Saturday evening, losing the subsequent penalty shootout in the Cologne Cup.
VCF manager Nuno fielded a strong starting lineup, in theory similar to his first choice eleven for the coming season. The game featured few chances early on, with play concentrated in the middle of the park. Valencia CF did look solid defensively and tactically, which had been the focus of much of Nuno's preseason work.
Valencia CF's relatively little playing time as a unit occasionally showed, and Porto were also very organised and physically fit opposition. A stalemate of forces was evident during the first half, which concluded goalless.
The second half developed in a similar fashion, as both teams looked to assert control in the midfield. VCF had problems with the higher intensity of their opponents at times, lacking precision in their passing -particularly when it came to hitting on the counter.
Both managers made a multitude of substitutions during the second period, and FC Porto changed practically their entire team before the end. Nuno avoided making any changes to his defence, keeping the same system and players in the back line throughout the entire game.
Neither side could break the deadlock in a competitive -if short on opportunities- match. The Cologne Cup thus saw its first draw, although Valencia CF could draw confidence from the fact that that the defence extended its run without conceding a goal to five games.
A penalty shootout would decide the winners of the match, and after six penalties apiece, Joao Cancelo's missed spot kick meant Porto took the victory.
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