Aberdeen this evening beat Viking FK 3-2 at Pittodrie in what was a competitive and enjoyable friendly played in front of a crowd of 10,017. Marcus Campanile came off the bench to score the winner in the last minute of the game.
The Dons lined up with Langfield in goal, Murray was right back, Reynolds left back with Hector in central defence alongside Andrew Considine who was making his long awaited comeback. The midfield four were Mason, Storie, Low and Wylde. Pawlett had a free role but was getting forward to support Vernon.
It was an attack minded Aberdeen side and the Dons started brightly. Craig Murray did well down the right in the opening minute but his cross landed in the hands of keeper Ostbo. After only six minutes Langfield made an excellent save. The Norwegians worked the ball well and Nisja found himself in space in the box but the Dons keeper got out quickly and was able to block with his legs. On eight minutes after a good passing move, Pawlett picked out Reynolds at the back post and although his header found the net the linesman had his flag raised.
It was a good start to the game, and for a friendly was being played at a good tempo. On 11 minutes Langfield again had to make a good save when he again prevented Nisja from scoring. Minutes 11-20 were less eventful, not much happened although the large crowd enjoyed both teams playing some good passing football. Nicky Low was in particular looking in the mood, he had a good lobbed effort which just finished on the roof of the net and on 25 minutes curled a shot from distance just wide. Nicky deservedly won the sponsors man of the match award.
Despite it being a friendly there were some strong challenges going in which always helps make the game more competitive. The game had a good competitive edge without being nasty.
Viking were playing some good football but seemed to lack a cutting edge. The Dons were also playing some good football and Scott Vernon was unlucky with a couple of offside decisions. He was playing on the shoulder of the last man and appeared to time his runs well.
On 36 minutes a short corner was played to Nicky Low. He curled another effort with his left foot just over. It was good to see Nicky willing to have a shot from distance. He has scored some outstanding goals for the Youth team over the years.
Then the game came to life.
The Dons then won three corners in succession and from the third they opened the scoring on 38 minutes. The ball was not cleared and Andrew Considine did well to battle for it. He laid the ball back to Michael Hector and the big defender did fantastically well to make space for a shot before placing it beyond the keeper into the corner of the net. On 43 minutes Murray almost picked out Vernon in the box. Viking broke quickly though and the ball was worked to Trond Olsen who found some space in the box. He hammered a first time shot past Langfield who had no chance. A well taken goal by a player who impressed all night.
At half time Derek McInnes made two changes; Rogers replaced Langfield and skipper for the night Mark Reynolds was replaced by Shaughnessy. Joe went into the central defence area and Andrew Considine, who was handed the captains armband, went to left back.
Rogers got a couple of good early touches but on 52 minutes he could do nothing to prevent Viking taking the lead. The ball was played through to Sulimani who had drifted away from his marker and he produced a really cool finish to lob Rogers. He waited for the keeper to go to ground as he came rushing out and just lifted the ball over him. It was poor defending though as the Viking player had way too much time and space.
The Dons though were back on level terms just before the hour mark. Vernon produced a good save from substitute keeper Lunde but the visitors failed to clear the ball. They knocked a couple of square passes about at the back and Storie closed down his man before brushing Danielsen aside. When one on one with the keeper the young midfielder slotted home. Another good finish.
On the hour mark Jonny Hayes replaced Jamie Masson. He went to the wide right position. Then on 68 minutes Vernon and Pawlett were replaced by McManus and Shankland. The two young strikers both played upfront. On 78 minutes Low and Murray were replaced by O'Neill and McKenna. O'Neill, who scored for Peterhead on Saturday, went into central midfield. McKenna went to left back, Joe to right back and Andy went back into the middle. There were also a lot of changes made by the Norwegians and it badly affected the flow of the game. Things became very fragmented for a period. The only real chance during that spell was on 82 minutes. McManus did well to win the ball in a dangerous area and he got a shot away but the keeper dived to his right to make a good save.
On 83 minutes the final Dons subs; Storie, Hector and Considine were replaced by Gibbons, Rumsby and Campanile and it was young Marcus who grabbed the winner. On 89 minutes the ball was played across from the left by Wylde. Shankland got a touch and the ball went to the back post area. Campanile at the back post turned brilliantly before firing in from a tight angle. A really good goal to finish a good night for the Dons.