Brentford B were beaten 4-1 by AGF Aarhus at Estadio da Nora in southern Portugal on Thursday afternoon. Marcus Forss scored the only goal in the first half for Lars Friis’ side.
The squad showed five changes from the squad that lost to Slavia Prague earlier this week. Simon Andersson replaced Patrik Gunnarsson in goal, with Theo Archibald dropping back into left-back. Marcus Forss started up top alongside birthday boy Matej Majka in attack.
AGF fired an early warning after just 116 seconds, Youssef Toutouh striking from just inside the box and Andersson parrying the ball away to his right. Magnus Kaastrup recycled the attack, crossing low for Toutouh to sweep beyond the goalkeeper from around the penalty spot.
The next ten minutes were back and forth in the middle of the park. Aarhus were content to sit back and soak up pressure and then try to break quickly down the flanks. This didn’t bring many chances until around quarter of an hour in. Archibald crossed for Forss but he was beaten to the ball by Jesper Juelsgaard.
With 20 minutes gone, the same defender was marauding forward when he was brought down by Nikolaj Kirk on the edge of the box. Juelsgaard stepped up to take the free-kick himself, firing it over the three-man wall but finding Andersson in the way. He parried the ball but managed to collect it at the second attempt.
A few minutes later, Andersson was almost in hot water when he mis-controlled a pass from Racic. Some neat footwork got him away from Toutouh, who was inches away from stealing the ball in front of what would’ve been an open goal.
With nearly half an hour gone, Jayden Onen and Jan Zamburek combined with the latter taking a shot from just outside the box. It was a good move, but goalkeeper Oscar Whalley got his body behind it and was able to hold on.
AGF scored their second after 33 minutes. Racic let a deep ball forward run for Andersson, who was well outside of his box. The Swedish goalkeeper’s pass out was intercepted by Toutouh and the forward chipped the ball over him and into the net.
Brentford were back in it two minutes later with a move that started from a Cole Dasilva pass. He switched the ball from right to left and found Archibald on the wing. The Scot did superbly to keep the ball in play and ran on down the left, drilling the ball low into the box. Whalley parried it out but only into the path of Forss, who beat Juelsgaard to the punch and knocked it home.
After 39 minutes, Majka went close with an effort from the edge of the box. He darted inside from the left, beat Bror Blume with some fancy footwork, and then struck the ball over the crossbar.
The third goal went in just before the break. Kaastrup slipped the ball to Daniel Thogersen on the overlap down the left. The cross into the box was whipped into the space at the near post and there Alexander Ammitzboll flicked it beyond Andersson. The keeper got a glove on the cheeky backheeled effort but couldn’t keep it out.
Less than 60 seconds after the restart, Brentford almost had a second. Archibald crossed for Kolbeinn Finnsson steaming into the middle. The Icelandic forward connected with the ball but could only send it narrowly wide of the far post.
A few minutes later, Thogersen swung in a free-kick from the left that was then nodded down by Seb Hausner. It was flicked away by Ali Coote but struck at goal by Blume, Andersson happy to watch it roll the right side of the woodwork.
Then at the other end, Coote and Archibald worked a short corner into a crossing position on the left wing. Racic was on the end of it with a diving header but it sailed over the crossbar.
With almost an hour gone, it was Archibald again causing chaos in the opposition box. Finnsson worked the ball out to him on the left side and he fizzed in a cross towards the six-yard box. Forss nodded it down but it dropped agonisingly wide of the target.
Moments later it was Kirk driving out of the back four to set up Henrik Johansson on the sprint. The Swedish winger darted inside his marker before shooting at goal, Whalley getting himself down to cling onto the ball.
Johansson was then fouled by Hausner on the edge of the box, allowing Archibald to swing in another effective cross. This time it was Finnsson with the header, but the result stayed the same as it ended up well wide of the goal.
AGF thought they might have had a penalty when Coote and Blume collided in the box, but the referee waved play-on and the Brentford pressure continued.
Yet another Archibald cross could’ve turned into an assist had his teammates been able to convert it inside the area. His low drive here missed both Johansson and Forss, who got in a muddle at the near post, and then Finnsson diving in at the far.
After 71 minutes the ball fell kindly for substitute Jaden Brissett to have a go but his effort on the edge of the box curved well wide of his intended target. Moments later his through ball allowed Finnsson to cross for Zamburek in the middle. A slight touch from Juelsgaard was all it took to take the ball just out of the Czech’s reach.
After 74 minutes, Aarhus made seven changes to the side. The fresh legs helped them net a fourth and final goal as the game drew to a close.
They could have had it when Alexander Munksgaard clipped a pass through to Patrick Mortensen in the box. Andersson stood strong and blocked the first shot, then caught the second attempt.
With four minutes to go, AGF scored their fourth. One sub, Tobias Sana, laid it back for another, Jakob Ankersen, and the shot flew underneath keeper Andersson to make it 4-1.
There was still time for one last chance as the ball fell kindly for Magnus Clausen to strike from point-blank range. Andersson did brilliantly to parry the strike and then Kirk showed bravery to block the follow-up from Mortensen on the line.
Brentford B: Andersson; Titov (sub Dasilva 21), Racic (sub Brissett 63), Kirk, Archibald; Coote, Zamburek (sub Hardy 76), Onen; Finnsson, Forss, Majka (sub Johansson h/t)
Subs: Gunnarsson, Oksanen, Mitchell
AGF Aarhus: Whalley; Mikanovic (sub Munksgaard 74), Hausner (sub Tingager 74), Juelsgaard, Thogersen (sub Clausen h/t); Hvidt (sub Backmann 74), Guira (sub Amini h/t); Blume (sub Mortensen 74), Ammitzboll (sub Stage 74), Kaastrup (sub Sana 74); Toutouh (sub Ankersen 74)