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Wolfsburg 2 - 0 Aberdeen

HT Score: Wolfsburg 0 - 0 Aberdeen

Wolfsburg scorers: Maric (56), Prager (61)

12/01/2003 | KO: 12:00

Quick one-two sinks Dons

Disappointment for the Dons under the clear blue skies of the Algarve today as Wolfsburg won 2-0 in the opening tie of the Algarve Winter Cup. The match was switched at the last minute from the Portimonense Stadium to the rather salubrious surroundings of the grandiosely named Estadio do Alvor but the Dons adapted well to the new venue as they pressed from the start.

Indeed Kevin Rutkiewicz really should have opened the scoring in 6 minutes when Paul Sheerin, making his Aberdeen debut, picked out the big defender with a pinpoint corner. Unfortunately for the small band of fans, who showed great resourcefulness to find the new setting for the match, his header flew over.

The thirteenth minute proved unlucky for Wolfsburg's new Argentinian central defender Pablo Quattrocchi as he was forced to limp off after a clash with his own keeper which gave Scott Michie a chance to punish the Germans' error. Sadly the young striker was forced wide of the target giving the covering defence time to get back.

A midfield battle ensued with the Dons giving as good as they got, despite the imperious presence of Stefan Effenberg in the heart of the Bundesliga side's engine room.

As the half headed to a conclusion, stand in skipper Jamie McAllister was unfortunate to see a rather sclaffed shot bounce off the post after Sheerin's free kick landed at his feet.

With McNaughton at sweeper in place of Deloumeaux, the second half promised much for the somewhat makeshift Dons, but within 15 minutes of the restart they found themselves two goals down.

First of all good fortune favoured the Germans in 56 minutes as Tomislav Maric's shot took a cruel deflection to beat Ryan Esson. But the second strike was down to a McNaughton error as he allowed Roy Prager to break free in the box, round Esson and fire home from an acute angle.

Rather than let the heads go down, the Dons rallied and should have found the net themselves, but for some inept finishing, particularly from Darren Mackie. Indeed the nearest they came to a consolation was when Maric headed spectacularly against his own post.

So a fruitless day for the Dons, but the lessons are there to be learned. They cannot combine sloppy finishing with careless defending.

Nonetheless, a useful exercise with quiet debuts for Steve Tosh and Paul Sheerin who rather faded out of the picture after a bright start which saw him combine well with Chris Clark.

Next up, its Ajax!

Wolfsburg Teamsheet
Unused Subs: Preece, Derek Young, Payne, Tiernan, Duncan, Fabiano and Mackie. (All used except Preece)
Venue: Estadio do Alvorense, Ria de Alvor, Portugal