Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Stoke lose to Cologne on Afellay debut

SoccerNews in English Premier League 1 Aug 2015

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Stoke City lost their Colonia Cup opener 2-1 to Cologne as Ibrahim Afellay made a quiet start to his career at the Premier League club.

Former Barcelona man Afellay arrived on a free transfer on Monday, but had little impact during Saturday’s game as the hosts dominated at the RheinEnergieStadion.

Goals from Anthony Modeste and Yannick Gerhardt sandwiched Peter Odemwingie’s equaliser for Stoke, who take on Porto in their second clash of the competition on Sunday.

Stoke were under pressure for much of the opening half and almost fell behind when Leonardo Bittencourt shrugged off Marc Muniesa and struck the base of the right-hand post in the 17th minute.

Pawel Olkowski fired narrowly wide 10 minutes later and the visitors had another fortunate escape in the 34th minute.

Jonas Hector’s free-kick from the edge of the box deflected off Muniesa and, with Jack Butland wrongfooted, struck the same upright that had saved the goalkeeper earlier.

Stoke’s first effort on goal arrived through Afellay, who drilled a 25-yard effort straight at Timo Horn, but a minute before the break they were behind as Modeste swept home a low ball at the near post.

Odemwingie replaced Afellay on the hour and headed a leveller with 10 minutes to go, but Cologne snatched victory when Gerhardt got away from Glen Johnson and rifled a low finish into the bottom-right corner.

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