Brentford’s pre-season training camp in Austria ended with a friendly draw with Dynamo Kyiv. The Bees have spent the past seven days in the Austrian Alps and a wet week ended with a 0-0 draw against the 15-time Ukrainian champions. The Bees could have won it as Emiliano Marcondes had a penalty saved but a no-score draw was hard to argue with.
Brentford had much the better of the opening exchanges and should have been ahead inside the first ten minutes. A pass from Sergi Canós almost created a chance for Ollie Watkins but the ball skimmed off the sodden turf and ran away into the arms of goalkeeper Heorhiy Bushchan. And it was Bushchan who kept the scores level soon after, saving the Marcondes penalty.
The lively Watkins won the spot kick with a burst into the penalty area. He weaved his way across and drew a foul from Artem Shabanov that, unarguably, resulted in the penalty. Marcondes struck his effort to the left of Bushchan but the tall goalkeeper guessed correctly and pushed the shot away.
When Rico Henry got away from Tomasz Kędziora soon after, it took a good header from Shabanov to prevent Henrik Dalsgaard arriving to score. Henry was then unable to find Marcondes with a cross after getting away on the left and a superb pass from Josh Dasilva released Watkins in the inside right channel, but he delayed a shot, also considering a pass, and blazed in to the side netting.
Those two moves highlighted Brentford’s first half performance. They dominated the midfield, patient at times but with Henry and Watkins linking excitingly on the left and Josh Dasilva driving forward from midfield. The Bees built from the back but attacked with pace and just lacked the final pass and finish.
Dynamo did not offer much before the break. Their best chance fell to midfield player Mohammed Kadiri when he met a free kick but headed over. David Raya saved a low effort from Oleksandr Karavayev after a good turn on the edge of the box and striker Artem Besyedin was unable to reach a drilled cross. But with Pontus Jansson making his presence felt on his first Brentford start, The Bees spent more time attacking than defending and dealt with everything that came their way.
Brentford made five changes at the break and another five just past the hour mark, the latter prompting a change in system to 4-3-3. Ethan Pinnock had a header saved following a short corner but Dynamo, who made fewer substitutions in the first hour, had the best opening in the early stages of the second period. Christian Nørgaard lost a midfield challenge and Volodymyr Shepelyev played a pass that put Karavayev away, but he failed to make the most of the opportunity and a rather weak shot was saved by Patrik Gunnarsson.
Carlos de Pena headed a cross wide as the minutes ticked down and the game was more even after the break. Brentford continued to try and play through and build attacks but had different options in forward areas, especially after the hour mark, and found a well-drilled Dynamo defence tough to break through. There was less width after the defence was shifted to a four-man outfit and central areas were congested.
There was another good chance for de Pena when he found space in the inside left channel, but a fierce shot was well saved by Gunnarsson. Brentford pressed forward in the later stages and good work by Tom Field, Ali Coote and Nørgaard created space for Josh Clarke to deliver and it took a good defensive clearance from Mykyta Burda to stop Justin Shaibu converting. That was as close as either team came in the closing minutes and the game ended all square.
Brentford (First Half): Raya; Racic, Jansson, Pinnock; Dalsgaard, Sawyers, J. Dasilva, Henry; Canós, Marcondes, Watkins
Brentford (Second Half): Gunnarsson; Racic (sub Oksanen 62 mins), Carroll, Pinnock; Clarke, Nørgaard, J. Dasilva (sub Hammar 62 mins), Henry (sub Field 62 mins); Canós (sub Shaibu 62 mins), Forss, Watkins (sub Coote 62 mins)
Dynamo Kyiv: Bushchan (sub Boyko h/t); Kędziora, Burda, Popov, Shabanov (sub Pivarić 69 mins); Kadiri (sub Sydorchuk h/t); Karavayev (sub Tsitaishvili 62 mins), Shepelyev (sub Harmash 74 mins), Buyalskyi, de Pena; Besyedin
Bookings: Sydorchuk (86 mins)