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Pre-Season Friendly: Cartagines 0 Fulham 3

Fulham have started their preparations for the English Premier League season with a 3-0 friendly win over Cartagines on Sunday.

Martin Jol’s men, in Fulham’s first match since being bought by new owner Shahid Khan, claimed the comfortable win over the Costa Ricans thanks to a brace from Dimitar Berbatov.

The Bulgarian, Fulham’s top-scorer last season, netted twice in the first half before Bryan Ruiz got on the scoresheet after the break.

Fulham started a relatively strong side in their first pre-season friendly, and went close to opening the scoring on four minutes.

John Arne Riise’s cross from the left found Berbatov, but his header was well kept out by a stretching Wardy Alfaro.

Cartagines also threatened through Leandro Silva and Terencio de Oliveira before Riise shot just wide after 15 minutes.

Fulham absorbed some Cartagines pressure before getting the opener in the 35th minute.

Pajtim Kasami was freed by Damien Duff down the left before squaring for Berbatov, who applied a simple finish.

Jol’s side were 2-0 up just five minutes later after Riise was brought down in the area by Cartagines captain Jose Villalobos following a clever run.

In typical Berbatov fashion, the striker sent Alfaro the wrong way, passing his penalty into the bottom corner.

Fulham made nine changes at half-time as only Sascha Riether and Steve Sidwell stayed on the pitch, with Maarten Stekelenburg, Fernando Amorebieta and Derek Boateng making their debuts.

Neither team was able to take their chances in the second half until Costa Rica international Ruiz netted in the 73rd minute.

Hugo Rodallega’s cross from the left found Ruiz in the area and the forward struck from close range as Fulham completed a good win.

Mon 15 July, 2013
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