Valencia CF 17.18 made their debut at Mestalla before the league campaign kicks off, with a defeat to Atalanta BC (1-2) in the 46th Trofeo Naranja Estrella Dam.
The game started with Atalanta BC seeing more of the ball in attack and well organised in midfield, making it hard for Marcelino’s side to get into their flow when in possession. The Italians had the first good chance of the game, and Toloi made it count, heading past Neto from a G. Alejandro free kick (0-1).
Despite conceding the opening goal, the Blanquinegros began to get a hold of the ball and grow into the game. VCF were playing out from the back and switching play from side to side, and Atalanta BC were having problems keeping up with Valencia CF’s runners from midfield. On the 19th minute Vezo, who was lurking at the back post, got on the end of goalkeeping fumble from an in-swinging Dani Parejo free kick and bagged the equaliser (1-1).
With the game back in the balance, VCF took control of possession and their rapid attacks brought the Mestalla crowd to their feet. The Blanquinegros had a double chance which the opposition somehow managed to scramble clear, and minutes later Gayà scored with a beautiful chipped finish, but the goal was ruled out for offside. The teams went in at half-time with honours even.
After the break Marcelino made a change between the sticks, bringing on Jaume for Neto. The team were looking for the win and the chances were coming thick and fast. Rodrigo had the first effort but his chip was saved by the ‘keeper. Straight after, Cancelo went on a mazy run from the half-way line, but his powerful effort from the edge of the box went over the bar. Marcelino’s side were piling on the pressure and the opposition defence was starting to creak.
Zaza and Cancelo, who were both very involved in the game, were finding plenty of space; the Italian saw his acrobatic bicycle kick sail over the bar, while the Portuguese shot across goal, just wide of the far post. On a rare incursion into the VCF half, Atalanta BC won a corner and Palomino got on the end of a flick-on to drive the ball into the bottom corner (1-2).
Mestalla willed the team on, and the Blanquinegros pushed forward, looking for the equaliser. Cancelo played a ball inside to Mina in a good position, but the forward was unable to keep his shot down.
Finally, Marcelino’s side were unable to put away their chances and Atalanta BC won the Trofeo Naranja Estrella Damm.
Atalanta BC 2: Etrit, Toloi, Cristante, Masiello, Palomino J., Gosens, G. Alejandro, Remo, Kurtic, Petagna, Hateboer y Hans.Haas, Mancini, Cornelius, Ilicic, Orsolini and Schmith were brought on as substitutes.
Goals: 0-1 Toloi, min. 12; 1-1 Vezo, min. 19; 1-2 Palomino, min. 65
Referee: Juan Martínez Munuera
Observations: 46th Trofeo Naranja Estrella Damm at Mestalla against Italian side Atalanta BC.
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