Fulham got their pre-season tour of Costa Rica under way last night in what was the clubs first game since the takeover by Shahid Khan was finalised at Craven Cottage.
The club will face Costa Rican powerhouses L.D Alajuelense and Deportivo Saprissa on the tour but got things started off in Cartago against CS Cartagines yesterday.
The club finished runners up in the Costa Rican Verano last season and have many Costa Rican internationals in their fold so the tie was not expected to be an easy affair; but Fulham made it look that way.
Dimitar Berbatov was once again the difference for The Cottagers. The Bulgarian bagged a brace before Costa Rican star Bryan Ruiz bagged the third in his homeland; to a warm reception from the home fans.
Martin Jol gave debuts to several players in the game. Maarten Stekelenburg came on for the second half and made a stunning save while Derek Boateng and Fernando Amorebieta also made their debuts.
But two youngsters were given starts in the form of Pajtim Kasami and Buomesca Tue Na Bangna.
And both impressed when they were on the pitch; with Kasami even bagging an assist.
‘Mesca’ was also very impressive as he finally enjoyed some time out on the pitch for Fulham; before coming off at half time for Alexander Kacaniklic.
The young Portuguese winger has previously struggled to play for the club since his arrival from Chelsea due to persistent knee injuries but he seems to have put all that behind him.
Last season he often travelled with the first team squad and he will now hope to continue impressing in pre-season and force his way into Martin Jol’s plans for the regular season.
So things are certainly going smoother for ‘Mesca’ then they are for his brother ‘Bruma’.
Armindo Tue Na Bangna has had a tumultuous summer at Sporting Lisbon as several teams chase his signature; including, we are led to believe, his brothers former club Chelsea.
Last week Bruma was linked with Porto, Galatasaray and Chelsea while it was also stated he could exercise the right to leave the club on a free through a legal loophole.
Then things took a sinister twist when he was involved in a kidnap attempt at the end of the week.
Now he has taken his case to a FIFA tribunal and a decision on his future will be made in just over a month; with Bruma, dubbed the ‘next Cristiano Ronaldo’, hoping to cancel his contract with the Portuguese side and potentially move to Chelsea this summer.
Buomesca is certainly having the better summer, however; all things permitting the brothers could both be playing in South-West London next season.
image: © nicksarebi