International friendlies review

Friendlies: Barca held in Neymar debut

July 31, 2013
By ESPN staff

Lionel Messi salvaged a 2-2 draw for Barcelona against Polish side Lechia Gdansk in a friendly on Tuesday, as summer recruit Neymar made his debut for the Spanish champions.

Messi secured a draw with a cheeky second-half chip
GettyImagesMessi secured a draw with a cheeky second-half chip

Jaroslaw Bieniuk gave Gdansk a surprise 1-0 lead in the 15th minute, but Barca responded shortly after through Sergi Roberto.

Messi had a chance to put his side ahead in first half stoppage time, but was unable to convert from the edge of the area.

Piotr Grzelczak then sent the home fans into raptures when he fired home Gdansk's second but a cool Messi chip five minutes later saw Gerardo Martino's men avoid embarrassment.

Brazil international Neymar made his debut in the 79th minute.

There were mixed results for Premier League sides on Tuesday, with Newcastle one of just two top flight clubs to record a win as they beat St Mirren 2-0.

Papiss Cisse made a welcome return for the Magpies following his Wonga sponsorship row, netting the opening after he exchanged passes with Sammy Ameobi and curled a well-placed finish into the top corner after 18 minutes.

There was warm applause for United's Paul Dummett and Conor Newton from the home support after the duo helped the Buddies lift the Scottish Communities League Cup during loan stints last term, while the crowd of 4,216 featured 709 travelling Newcastle fans.

Saints number one David Cornell was forced to dive full length to save Dan Gosling's header from Ameobi's dinked cross soon after.

However, the keeper had no chance as full-back Matthew Debuchy slotted a composed finish on 26 minutes after Vurnon Anita sent him racing through on goal.

Early goals from Michael Kightly and Brek Shea enabled Stoke to wrap up their tour of the United States with victory over Philadelphia Union.

Kightly opened the scoring for Mark Hughes' side in the fourth minute when he volleyed in a cross from recently-signed Spain Under-21 defender Marc Muniesa.

Shea doubled the scoring 15 minutes later with a composed finish from Kightly's ball, although the American left the action in the 34th minute following a tough challenge from the MLS side's Matt Kassel.

Cardiff's preparations took an unconvincing turn as they let a two-goal lead slip to lose 3-2 at Brentford.

Kim Bo-kyung put Cardiff ahead 12 minutes in after exchanging passes with Fraizer Campbell, who doubled the Bluebirds' lead two minutes later.

But Conor McAleny's neat finish cut the deficit just before half-time and the on-loan Everton forward equalised four minutes into the second period before Paul Hayes' scrappy late goal earned Brentford victory.

Norwich were held to a 1-1 draw at Brighton in front of an impressive crowd of 10,622 at the Amex Stadium.

Jonny Howson turned home Nathan Redmond's cross in the 27th minute and Andrea Orlandi missed a clear chance for a Brighton equaliser just before the break.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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