By Max Jones
Valencia and AS Monaco kicked off the 2014 Emirates Cup with a 2-2 draw on Saturday.
It took the Spanish side eight minutes to create the first chance when Antonio Barragan breezed past Anthony Martial and centred to Rodrigo De Paul, who blazed his shot over Danijel Subasic’s crossbar.
Subasic was made to work six minutes later from Sofiane Feghouli’s header, but the Croatian goalkeeper easily dealt with the Algerian’s tame attempt.
Monaco came close in the 23rd minute after Anthony Martial found Valere Germain, who could only smash wide of Diego Alves’s left-hand post before Geoffrey Kondogbia had his drive blocked a minute later.
In the end it took a large slice of misfortune to break the deadlock. Joao Moutinho’s 30th-minute corner cannoned off Ruben Vezo’s head before flying into the defender’s own net to put Monaco ahead.
And the teams’ luck reversed seven minutes later when Barragan’s low cross was met by Ricardo Carvalho, who could only divert it into his own net, keeping the game and fortune balanced going into the break.
Valencia had clearly grown in confidence after their equaliser and had the first attempt five minutes after half time. De Paul left two players in his wake and fed Pablo Piatti, whose shot was well held by Subasic.
After a 14 minutes of dominating the midfield battle, the French side threatened again when Nabil Dirar’s cross found Germain, but the captain’s header flew well over.
But then Valencia attacked in the 69th minute through Aly Cissokho, who played it first time for substitute Paco Alcacer to give his side the lead from two yards.
Falcao was introduced with 15 minutes left but it was his fellow substitute, Lucas Ocampos, who equalised. Following another fine Subasic save, the Argentine winger fired home from 18 yards to level in the 80th minute.
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