Adams on target on Saints debut

By SFC Media Sun 14 Jul SCR Altach v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Ché Adams
Sun 14 Jul 2PM
Friendlies
SCR Altach
1
Southampton
1
Fischer [25']
Adams [2']
Referee: Felix Ouschan | Venue: Cashpoint Arena | Attendance: 2,596

Ché Adams scored inside two minutes of his debut as Southampton drew 1-1 with Austrian Bundesliga side SCR Altach in their pre-season opener.

Adams was sharp out of the blocks, firing home Shane Long’s pass to give Saints an early lead at the Cashpoint Arena, which lies just a mile from the Swiss border.

But the Austrian hosts fought back to level the scores in the first half through an explosive shot on the turn from Manfred Fischer.

Saints boss Ralph Hasenhüttl fielded a separate XI in each half as his team ended their week-long training camp with a first friendly of the summer.

It was the first glimpse of Adams in action in a Saints shirt, sporting the dark grey away strip with yellow shorts and socks, as the summer signing partnered Long in attack, supported by Josh Sims and Mohamed Elyounoussi from advanced midfield positions in an otherwise familiar line-up.

It took just 116 seconds for the new arrival to make his mark. Long went haring off down the left and played a low square pass intended for Sims, who allowed the ball to run beyond him for Adams.

The striker had his back to goal with a defender marking tight, but used his body to roll his man and swivelled sharply to score with a low shot back across the keeper from 15 yards.

Adams twice went close to adding to his early opener in Altach

Saints continued to press, before Altach posed their first threat with a low shot from 18-year-old Ousmane Diakite, who sent Alex McCarthy stooping to his right, where he saved comfortably.

But McCarthy had no answer to Fischer’s bolt from the blue to level the scores in the 25th minute. 

Receiving the ball on the half-turn from Diakite, he took a touch out of his feet and whipped a fine shot high inside the near post, struck like a free-kick from open play. 

Fischer was confident and stung the palms of McCarthy with a vicious effort soon after, before the Saints keeper tipped over a rising drive from Samuel Yves Oum Gouet.

At the other end, with such a pacey front two, Saints always carried a threat on the break. 

On one occasion, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg fed Adams, who was honest enough to stay on his feet when clipped from behind, and tried to thread his shot between the keeper and his near post only to strike the foot of the upright.

Adams was beating the offside trap again six minutes before the break, latching on to Maya Yoshida’s ball over the top, but in rounding goalkeeper Martin Kobras, there was just enough time for skipper Philipp Netzer to retreat to his goal line and block the eventual shot.

Striker Dan N'Lundulu was among those to be introduced at half time

Ralph Hasenhüttl opted to change his entire starting XI at the interval, including no fewer than five Academy graduates, as James Ward-Prowse took over the captaincy from Højbjerg, while youngsters Jake Vokins, Will Smallbone, Dan N’Lundulu and Michael Obafemi were all given 45 minutes to impress. 

But it was two of Saints’ key men from 2018/19, Nathan Redmond and Danny Ings, who were heavily involved in the opening exchanges of the second half.

First Ings found himself eye to eye with Kobras, only for the keeper to clear the danger before he could be rounded for a second time.

Then the striker found Redmond – who had already drawn an “Ooooh” from the crowd for a cheeky nutmeg in midfield – but the winger was forced wide on to his left foot and dragged his shot beyond the far post.

Another star of Saints’ rejuvenation under Hasenhüttl, James Ward-Prowse, sent Kobras sprawling across his goal as a 69th minute free-kick bounced awkwardly in front of the keeper, who was adjudged not to have touched it on its way wide.

Altach resisted the urge to make a raft of half-time substitutions, but a late flurry of activity from the bench did affect the spectacle in the closing minutes.

SCR Altach

1
Martin Kobras (GK)
4
Samuel Oum Gouet
5
Philipp Netzer (C)
Aljaz Casar (78′)
7
Christian Gebauer
11
Marco Meilinger
12
Ousmane Diakite
Florian Jamnig (71′)
16
Emanuel Schreiner
18
Jan Zwischenbrugger
19
Emir Karic
28
Anderson Dos Santos Gomes
Philipp Schmiedl (46′) Lars Nussbaumer (84′)
30
Manfred Fischer
24
Benjamin Ozegovic
6
Philipp Schmiedl
13
Lars Nussbaumer
17
Florian Jamnig
21
Leo Mätzler
23
Aljaz Casar
26
Daniel Nussbaumer
27
Frantz Pangop

Southampton

1
Alex McCarthy (GK)
Fraser Forster (46′)
3
Maya Yoshida
Jack Stephens (46′)
4
Jannik Vestergaard
Jan Bednarek (46′)
7
Shane Long
Danny Ings (46′)
10
Ché Adams
Michael Obafemi (46′)
11
Mohamed Elyounoussi
Dan N'Lundulu (46′)
12
Yan Valery
Cédric (46′)
14
Oriol Romeu
James Ward-Prowse (46′)
21
Ryan Bertrand
Jake Vokins (46′)
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (C)
Will Smallbone (46′)
27
Josh Sims
Nathan Redmond (46′)
44
Fraser Forster
2
Cédric
5
Jack Stephens
6
Wesley Hoedt
9
Danny Ings
15
Jan Bednarek
16
James Ward-Prowse
17
Christoph Klarer
18
Will Smallbone
20
Michael Obafemi
22
Nathan Redmond
25
Dan N'Lundulu
28
Angus Gunn
30
Jake Vokins
41
Harry Lewis
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