Pukki 13, Idah 86
Pukki back with a bang as City win Huddersfield friendly
- Credit: Norwich City/Matt Usher
Teemu Pukki's goal helped maintain Norwich City's pre-season momentum as they beat Huddersfield Town 2-0 in a behind closed doors friendly at Colney.
The Finland international only joined City's Premier League preparations earlier this week and opened his account for the 2021/22 campaign when he lofted the ball past Ryan Nicholls inside the opening 15 minutes.
Huddersfield enjoyed plenty of territory and dominated proceedings for portions of the game. They saw several chances go amiss throughout the fixture.
City secured the victory through Adam Idah late on with the striker making little mistake with his finish after Dan Adshead robbed possession with an impressive individual press.
Daniel Farke will have extracted plenty from a pre-season exercise that again represented a step up after victories over Lincoln City and King's Lynn Town.
Angus Gunn and Jacob Sorensen were noticeable absentees from Farke's selection but Tim Krul returned from international duty and looked composed in between the sticks. City fans were given their first sighter of Pierre Lees-Melou in midfield, who was impressive throughout the fixture.
Huddersfield nearly capitalised on an early lapse of concentration after Lukas Rupp's wayward pass nearly gifted Josh Koroma the opening goal. The striker directed his header goalwards, only for Tim Krul to come to City's rescue.
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City found some life after that early let-off and went close on six minutes.
Rupp's driving run beyond the ball was picked out by Przemek Placheta. The German cut the ball back for Teemu Pukki and his dummy opened up some space for Pierre Lees-Melou.
City's newest arrival shifted the ball onto his left foot before unleashing a fierce shot that deflected just the wrong side of the post.
A flurry of chances followed, with Lees-Melou orchestrating the play from midfield. Both Kieran Dowell and Milot Rashica both saw their snapshots fly over the bar.
Talismanic striker Pukki only returned to training this week after his participation in Euro 2020 with Finland and it took just 13 minutes for the striker to notch his first goal of pre-season.
A brisk counter attack led by Rupp saw Huddersfield caught short at the back, The German held his run slightly to play Pukki in behind the defence and the Finn went on to clip a cute chip past Lee Nicholls to put City ahead.
Both sides had glimpses of goal thereafter with neither keeper being tested. Farke will have taken plenty from the opening 45 minutes, with some neat passages of play on display and a slick goal created through a counter attacking move.
Norwich made four changes as Farke rotated his squad to improve the fitness of his squad. Jordan Hugill, Adam Idah, Onel Hernandez and Michael McGovern came onto the pitch for the second half.
The Terriers began the second period with real purpose, and ex-City Youth Cup winner Harry Toffolo's burst into the box nearly resulted in the equaliser. The ball looked goalbound until Placheta cleared off the line.
Scott High went close to snatching the equaliser soon after. He twisted and turned in the box but McGovern spread his body well to deflect the effort wide.
Huddersfield's pressure continued and Koroma should have taken advantage of a major error at the back from Placheta. The ex-Leyton Orient man had all the time in the world to hit the target but dragged his shot wide of the near post.
City went close to adding to their lead after 60 minutes as Dowell's whipped free-kick forced Ryan Schofield into a save at full stretch.
Placheta's deliveries from corners were causing Huddersfield problems and the presence of Hugill offered City a target. The Pole picked out the ex-West Ham man at the near post but his volley was parried away by Schofield.
Hernandez' drives were causing problems for Huddersfield at the back. The Cuban winger had the beating of Toffolo in one versus one situations and saw a driven effort palmed clear by the Terriers' keeper.
The Cuban was a real bright spark after coming on and was a major outlet for the Canaries in the second period.
His surge forward created space for Idah to gallop into and he received the pass before pushing the ball towards goal. Hugill lunged in an attempt to turn it into the net, but the ball was scrambled clear by Huddersfield.
City did grab a second courtesy of Idah after Dan Adshead robbed possession in midfield. Hugill kept the ball alive and it fell kindly for the Irish international who made little mistake to convert.
- Norwich City (4-2-3-1): Krul (McGovern, 45); Mumba (Aarons, 65), Zimmermann, Omobamidele, Placheta; Rupp (Adshead, 85), Lees-Melou; Cantwell (Hernandez, 45), Dowell (Tomkinson, 85), Rashica (Idah, 45); Pukki (Hugill, 45). Subs not used: Giurgi, Nizet
- Bookings: None
- Goals: Pukki 13, Idah 86
- Huddersfield Town (4-3-3): Nicholls (Schofield, 45); Turton, Pearson, Colwill, Toffolo; High (Ruffells, 63), Hogg, O'Brien; Holmes (Thomas, 63), Ward (Rhodes, 63), Koroma (Diarra, 72). Subs not used: Crichlow, Headley, Jackson, Austerfield, Daly, Obiero.
- Bookings: None
- Goals: None
- Referee: Gavin Ward