Postolachi’s late strike seals PSG victory in Singapore
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Paris St Germain teenage forward Virgiliu Postolachi scored a stunning 93rd-minute winner as the French champions edged out a battling Atletico Madrid 3-2 in a thrilling pre-season friendly in Singapore .
Both teams fielded experimental lineups in the final match of a three-team tournament that also included Arsenal as PSG gave goalkeeper Kevin Trapp and midfielder Angel Di Maria their first outings since returning from the World Cup in Russia.
Both teams looked lively from the kickoff before a modest crowd at the Singapore National Stadium and Argentina’s Di Maria was soon involved when he drew a smart diving save from Antonio Adan in the fifth minute with a well-struck free kick.
Atletico countered with two great chances of their own as Trapp used his feet to first deny Angel Correa before Kevin Gameiro hoisted a shot over the PSG crossbar after he raced clear from the halfway line in the 11th minute.
The Ligue 1 side settled and began to dominate with Marco Verratti and Adrien Rabiot pulling the strings in central midfield, but they were unable to find the decisive final pass.
Their persistence finally paid off in 32nd minute, however, when midfielder Christopher Nkunku, who impressed against Arsenal on Thursday, prodded home from close range after Layvin Kurzawa’s goal-bound effort was deflected into his path.
Stirred into action after falling behind, Atletico should have equalised in the 41st minute when the Spanish side fashioned an opening for Luciano Vietto, whose shot flew past Trapp but was cleared off the line by a sprawling Kevin Rimane.
New Paris St Germain coach Thomas Tuchel shuffled his pack at halftime, making 10 changes to his starting lineup, a figure which soon became 11 when replacement defender Alex Georgen injured his knee within seconds of coming on.
The substitutions transformed the game into a wide-open affair as chances were spurned at both ends, particularly by PSG forwards Timothy Weah and Moussa Diaby, until the latter doubled the French side’s lead after 71 minutes.
Atletico, however, are known for their resilience and Spanish youth international Victor Mollejo hauled them back into the contest in the 76th minute, the forward needing two attempts to beat Trapp following a goal-mouth scramble from a corner.
The Spanish side poured forward in search of an equaliser and coach Diego Simeone was punching the air in delight when PSG’s Antoine Bernede deflected Borja Garces’ shot past a stranded Trapp to level the scores after 86 minutes.
The match appeared destined for a penalty shootout until Postolachi, a product of Paris St Germain’s youth academy, settled matters with a brilliant curling strike in the final minute of stoppage time.