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FC VIKTORIA PLZEN 1 BLUES 3

Zola
Zola Matumona in action for Blues
Trialist Zola Matumona was a bright spark on a damp evening as Blues made it two wins in as many games in Austria with a 3-1 victory over FC Viktoria Plzen.
 
The side from the Czech top league were always going to be a tougher challenge than Kirchberg, who Blues had beaten 7-0 two days earlier, but Alex McLeish's side put in a dominant display to come away on top.
 
Garry O'Connor's clinical strike and a Gary McSheffrey penalty gave them two and three goals respectively so far in pre-season and the win was wrapped up by a lovely Mehdi Nafti finish in the second half.
 
Congolese midfielder Zola, 20, who is on the books of Belgian side FC Brussels, got off to a slow start in his first match for Blues but grew in stature as the game developed, seeing plenty of the ball and producing some excellent touches.
 
Despite extremely wet conditions McLeish's men strung together some top moves and made a good Plzen side look extremely ordinary.
 
Blues, who gave impressive 16-year-old midfielder Jordon Mutch a full 90 minute run-out, took the lead on 13 minutes when Zola dispossessed his man on the left and played in Kevin Phillips in a wide position.

McSheffrey
Gary McSheffrey
He in turn fed O'Connor, who took a touch before placing home a low left-footed drive.
 
Two minutes later the lead was doubled when Mutch played an intricate threaded pass in behind the full-back to McSheffrey.

The Birmingham wideman twisted past his marker who clumsily hacked him down.

McSheffrey got to his feet and took responsibility for the penalty, sending it low to the keeper's right-hand side and into the net.
 
At the opposite end Colin Doyle didn't have too much to do but reacted smartly to save a low Rezek piledriver on 41.
 
A minute later giant defender Martin Taylor came a whisker away from making it three when he narrowly failed to get on the end of a Stephen Kelly cross.
 
McLeish made a trio of substitutions at half-time and there were more changes as the second period progressed, including a first look at 20-year-old French centre-half Yamoudou Camara, another trialist, who slotted in at the back in place of Taylor.
 
Cameron Jerome had already thumped a fierce volley against the bar by the time Nafti made it 3-0 on 78.

The livewire Zola danced down the left and cut into the area. As he was about to be scythed down by a defender he cleverly flicked the ball back outside the area into the path of the advancing Mehdi Nafti, who smacked it home from 20 yards leaving the keeper no chance.
 
Nafti
Mehdi Nafti
Three minutes later Plzen got what was merely a consolation when David Murphy was adjudged to have fouled Libersky inside the box.

Rezek stepped up and put the ball into the bottom corner, Maik Taylor guessing the right way and very unlucky not to get a hand to it.
 
Late on Blues produced a sublime ten or 12 pass move that summed up the way they had played all night.

Had Sone Aluko not flicked the ball over from close range after getting on the end of young Jared Wilson's cross it would have been a great goal.
 
Watching on the sidelines were James McFadden (toe injury), Seb Larsson (muscle soreness), Stuart Parnaby (hamstring cramp) and new boy Marcus Bent, all of whom must have been extremely impressed by what they had just witnessed.

Full time: FC VIKTORIA PLZEN 1 BLUES 3
 
Blues: Colin Doyle (Maik Taylor 46), Stephen Kelly, David Murphy, Martin Taylor (Yamoudou Camara 68), Liam Ridgewell (Radhi Jaidi 46), Gary McSheffrey (Jared Wilson 74), Jordon Mutch, Lee Carsley (Mehdi Nafti 62), Zola Matumona, Kevin Phillips (Sone Aluko 62), Garry O'Connor (Cameron Jerome 46).
 
FC Viktoria Plzen: Tomas Postulka, Tomas Rada, David Libersky, Jan Halama, Marek Smola, Pavel Horvath, Milan Petrzela, Radek Hochmeister, Dimitri Tatanaschvili, Paulo Rodriguez, Jan Rezek. Subs: Dan Houdek, Martin Tichacek, Petr Knakal, Jakub Navratil, Petr Trapp, Lukas Vaculik, Pavel Malcharek, Ondrej Vrzal, Adam Varadi, Jiri Milka.

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