Match Report: Watford 0-0 Panathinaikos

By: Watford FC Staff

Watford and Panathinaikos couldn’t be separated after a goalless draw at FC Kössen in Austria.

In the second pre-season match of the new campaign, a busy first-half saw Vakoun Bayo and João Pedro go closest for the Hornets, with a flurry of changes following at the interval as Rob Edwards rotated his squad during the friendly.

The lively encounter saw Yáser Asprilla make his first appearance in yellow since joining up with the first-team, but neither side was able to break the deadlock, bringing Watford’s Austrian pre-season tour to a conclusion.

Composed Watford possession was the order in the opening stages, as both sides continued to grow into the exhibition encounter.

Recent acquisition Bayo was first to try his luck for the Golden Boys, snatching the ball following a defensive error, but his strike was a straightforward effort at the Panathinaikos goalkeeper.

His attacking partner João Pedro also enjoyed a significant role during the first-half. At the 20-minute mark, the Brazilian took a shot from the edge of the area, bending it around an approaching defender. Although powerful, the opponent’s shot-stopper was able to deny Watford the opener.

After the break, the 20-year-old had another shot on target, wriggling his way past defenders before cutting inside and unleashing a potent shot, forcing the Panathinaikos goalkeeper to palm the ball away from danger.

The final half-hour saw another flurry of substitutions with youngsters JJ McKiernan and Dapo Mebude among those receiving valuable minutes.

Notably, 18-year-old Asprilla came onto the pitch in the final stages, partnering Kwadwo Baah in attack.

At the other end of the pitch, Maduka Okoye produced a solid diving stop to deny Panathinaikos a set-piece goal, moving quickly to palm the ball away.

The intensity remained as midfielder Mebude curled an effort towards goal, but his strike was comfortably caught.

The Hornets will now depart Austria, arriving back at London Colney in preparation for Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday (July 12).


Starting XI: Bachmann (GK) (Okoye HT), Sema (Kamara HT), Samir (Morris 61'), Kabasele (Asprilla 73'), Cathcart (Pollock 61'), Ngakia (Hungbo HT), Kayembe (McKiernan 61'), Gosling (Quina HT), Dele-Bashiru (Mebude 61'), Bayo (Kalu HT), João Pedro (Baah 61')

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