Brentford B were beaten 3-0 by Braga B in Portugal at the Complexo Desportivo de Fao on Friday morning.
The young Bees headed to the north of Portugal to play a Braga side who compete in the third tier of Portuguese football and they more than matched their opponents for much of the game with the young group coming up against a more senior Braga team.
17-year-old Iwan Morgan made his full B team debut as he came into the side whilst Conor McManus came in at left back in a defensive four which also featured Ji-soo Kim, Erion Zabeli and Charlie Farr.
Riley Owen continued in his central midfield role and he had Max Dickov and Angel Waruih either side of him as Nathan Young-Coombes led the line with Morgan and Tony Yogane operating the wide areas.
It was a first half which wasn’t blessed with chances as Braga saw lots of the ball but weren’t creating many chances in behind the Brentford back line.
They had a couple of attempts inside the first 20 minutes which stemmed from good play down the left, the first of which saw a low shot edge wide before Vincent Angelini cut out a low cross from the left to push the ball behind.
Brentford’s first real chance then came soon after when a throw in found the feet of Yogane and he held the ball well before slipping through to the run of Young-Coombes but his shot edged wide of goal.
On 32 minutes Braga broke the deadlock in what was a fairly even half. As Rodrigo Beirao Da Viega squared the ball inside for Nuno Cunha the Braga man pulled off a stunning strike from distance which smashed the inside of the post before ending up in the net to make it 1-0.
Brentford could have levelled on the cusp of half-time when some good interplay down the left involving McManus and Yogane saw the ball crossed into the box. The ball then found its way to Farr but his low powerful drive was well blocked.
Dickov had the Bees’ first attempt after the break when he controlled well before his shot from the edge of the box was collected by the Braga keeper before Ji-soo and Angelini kept the score at 1-0 with two important blocks.
Just after the hour it became 2-0 to Braga in frustrating circumstances for Brentford as a low shot from the edge from D’Avila Borges Do Nascimento was well stopped by Angelini who pushed the powerful effort to the side but Kauan Kelvin was able to slot home from the rebound.
B team head coach Neil MacFarlane then made a trio of changes with Ashley Hay, Isaac Holland and Ethan Laidlaw introduced after Braga’s second goal and Hay almost made an instant impact when he shot just wide after the ball was squared to him and he controlled well before working some space to shoot.
Holland then almost turned provider for another substitute in Beaux Booth as the young winger managed to rob Braga of possession before driving inside the box and crossing low. Booth was able to get a foot to it in a central position but his prodded effort went just wide of goal.
Holland then had a chance for himself when a deep Farr free-kick found the head of the youngster but his glanced effort was collected fairly routinely by the Braga shot stopper.
Three minutes from time Braga then wrapped things up when a bit of a scramble in the box wasn’t cleared and the ball broke for Leandro Filipe Rodrigues Dias who slotted in from close range.
Brentford B: Angelini (Rose, 88), Farr, McManus, Zabeli (Headman, 88), Ji-soo, Waruih (Booth, 73), Young-Coombes (Hay, 61) Owen, Morgan (Laidlaw, 61), Dickov (Wilson, 88), Yogane (Holland, 61)
MacFarlane takes positives from young side's display
Neil MacFarlane felt the side perhaps deserved a little more from their defeat in Portugal. The B team head coach says the side are working hard to develop their game and was pleased to bring the group to Portugal to face a tough Braga side.
Hay settling well into life with Bees
New B team recruit Ashley Hay says he's learning all the time since his arrival in west London with Brentford. He felt the side had positive moments against Braga and he can see improvements in the team.