The New England Revolution opened their preseason slate in Marbella, Spain on Thursday morning, playing to a scoreless draw against Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua.
New signing Carles Gil did not feature in the match as Revs head coach Brad Friedel put his team in a 4-4-2 formation throughout.
Cristian Penilla produced a pair of dangerous chances for New England in the first half. In the 23rd minute, his right-footed shot took a deflection and curled over the bar, and a low drive in the 28th minute was saved. Brad Knighton kept Shanghai off the scoreboard just before halftime with a diving save to his right on a long-range effort.
In the second frame, Teal Bunbury and Juan Fernando Caicedo led the attack and combined for a pair of quality chances in the 49th and 53rd minutes, respectively. Matt Turner preserved the shutout with a crucial kick save in the 84th minute, before the Revs nearly bagged a winner in the final moments as Tajon Buchanan fired a curling shot, but Shanghai Shenhua’s goalkeeper forced the attempt off the crossbar.
FT #NERevs 0 Shanghai 0 - Tajon Buchanan so nearly finds a late winner for the Revs as his long-range drive is pushed onto the crossbar, but this one finishes scoreless. A solid first test for the Revs as preseason prep rolls on. #NERevsInSpain 🇪🇸— Jeff Lemieux (@jeff_lemieux) January 31, 2019
“I thought it was good. They’re on their fifth game of preseason, that’s our first, so they were ahead of us on fitness, but I think we looked probably the stronger of the two teams, definitely at the end of the second half," Friedel said after the match. "It was good. Just as I said, the first two days are going to be a mix. We’re just going to try to open it up and have some competition, and some pleasing signs.”
First half lineup (4-4-2, L-R): Brad Knighton (GK); Gabriel Somi, Jalil Anibaba, Andrew Farrell, Tyler Freitas (Academy); Cristian Penilla, Wilfried Zahibo, Scott Caldwell, DeJuan Jones (Draft pick); Brian Wright, Diego Fagundez
Second half lineup (4-4-2, L-R): Matt Turner (GK); Edgar Castillo, Michael Mancienne, Antonio Mlinar Delamea, Brandon Bye; Tajon Buchanan, Isaac Angking, Zachary Herivaux, Justin Rennicks; Juan Fernando Caicedo, Teal Bunbury