FCPS vs Marseille Match Report
Pre-season friendly: FC Pinzgau Saalfelden 1–5 Olympique de Marseille
Kufstein, 19 July 2020
Captain Tamás Tandari was the sole goalscorer for FC Pinzgau Saalfelden as the Mountainous Pine Blues were beaten 5-1 by former UEFA Champions League winners Olympique de Marseille in a behind-closed-doors friendly at the Kufstein Arena on Sunday evening.
The scenario: FC Pinzgau Saalfelden already had two pre-season friendlies under their belts, following up the 5-0 thrashing of fifth-tier Austrian outfit SC Mühlbach last weekend with an unlucky 1-1 draw against fourth-tier TSU Bramberg on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Olympique de Marseille were in action for the first time since drawing 2-2 against Amiens 135 days ago. The French Ligue 1 was one of the few major European leagues to abandon the 2019/20 season in light of the coronavirus pandemic. OM finished the campaign in second spot.
The action: Head coaches Christian Ziege and André Villas-Boas opted for variations of the same formation for this ‘David vs. Goliath’ clash in sunny Tyrol. While FC Pinzgau Saalfelden lined up in a 4-1-2-3 with Christopher Fürstaller, Harry Cooksley and Tandari forming the attacking trio, Olympique de Marseille took to the field in a 4-3-3. Pape Gueye was handed his debut for Les Phocéens, although Kevin Strootman and Dimitri Payet were surprising omissions from the starting XI and did not appear until the second half.
The French outfit began the game on the front foot and threatened for the first time in the second minute of the match when Florian Thauvin curled in a dangerous corner that was punched away by FCPS shot-stopper Stipo Colic, who made another outstanding save 20 minutes later as he clawed Thauvin’s curling effort away from the top corner.
But there was little the Croatian custodian could do to stop FCPS falling behind on the 23-minute mark when debutant Gueye stabbed home a corner-kick. The French side doubled their advantage just after the half-hour mark when Álvaro Gonzalez won the aerial battle in the penalty area to nod another Thauvin corner past Colic’s outstretched fingertips. The Spanish centre-back required lengthy treatment in the direct aftermath of his goal after taking a knock in a coming together with Alessandro Ziege.
Ziege senior made a raft of changes at the break but his side struggled after the restart and were caught flat-footed in the 47th minute when substitute Payet met Valère Germain’s ball across the six-yard box at the back post and slotted into an empty net.
Payet was on hand to set up for the fourth goal minutes later when he cut a low corner-kick into the path of Morgan Sanson, whose perfectly placed shot went in off the post to fire the 1993 Champions League winners into a commanding 4-0 lead.
But Pinzgau Saalfelden kept battling and got their reward in the 60th minute when Tandari nodded Dominik Kirschner’s corner-kick into the back of the net. However, Marseille re-established the four-goal cushion 10 minutes later when Saif-Eddine Khaoui played the ball across the face of goal for Germain to complete the scoring.
Christian Ziege’s charges will now turn their attentions to their fourth and final pre-season friendly against FC Kitzbühel on Saturday (25 July). Their Regionalliga Salzburg campaign kicks off two weeks later (Saturday 8 August) with a trip to Wals-Grünau.
The starting line-ups:
FC Pinzgau Saalfelden: Colic, Mühlbacher, Ziege, Kahrimanovic, Schubert, Raischl, Jatta, Gadenstätter, Fürstaller, Tandari, Cooksley
Olympique de Marseille: Mandanda, Álvaro, Caleta-Car, Amavi, Sarr, Gueye, Sanson, Rongier, Chabrolle, Thauvin, Benedetto
Photo credit: Jasmin Walter