Mousset and Afobe net in Portsmouth win
- Andy Davies
AFC Bournemouth recorded their second win of the pre-season calendar after beating Kenny Jackett’s Portsmouth 2-1 at Fratton Park.
Summer signings Asmir Begovic, Nathan Ake and Jermain Defoe all featured for the Cherries, whilst a further 18 also got a run out along the south coast.
Eddie Howe’s side were first to apply the pressure, with four early corners in quick succession and the best chance falling to Tyrone Mings, who saw his close-range shot stopped by Luke McGee.
However, it wasn’t long before the visitors made their dominance count.
Lys Mousset was on hand to coolly convert Benik Afobe’s cut back from 10 yards out, following some lovely footwork on the right from the former Arsenal man.
Moments later, Portsmouth came looking for a reply, with Kyle Bennett forging an opening from 20 yards but seeing his shot subsequently fly just over the bar.
Up the other end of the pitch, Afobe was close to a second for the visitors after being played through, however the striker dragged his shot the wrong side of McGee’s post.
As the half-hour mark approach, the Cherries came forward again, with Max Gradel and Mousset linking up well but the Frenchman this time the one to miss the target.
However, Mousset was on the attack once more minutes later, squeezing the ball between the two Pompey centre-backs, with Afobe forcing a good save from McGee and a goal-line clearance from Carl Baker.
After the break, the pair were causing problems again. A lovely flick from Afobe set up a one-two with Mousset but the Congolese international saw his shot saved for a corner.
But, it was the Blues who came out fighting, with former Cherries man Brett Pitman at the heart of it.
The striker saw a shot saved well by Begovic, before playing in Pompey youngster Conor Chaplin. The 20-year-old calmly set himself before finishing confidently in front of the famous Fratton End.
Nevertheless, the home jubilation was almost immediately silenced.
Simon Francis did well down the right and cut the ball back to Ryan Fraser, before his mishit fell to Afobe who could back-heel from five yards out and net for a deserved goal.
After a quiet spell and a flurry of Cherries changes, Kenny Jackett’s side almost grabbed a late equaliser.
Bennett found Chaplin, who was in space in the box, but the youngster’s shot fired back off the post and was cleared to safety.
There was still time for one more Pompey chance as the game drew to a close after Christian Burgess rose highest from Milan Lalkovic’s corner, but he was unable to find the target and consequently the home side’s equaliser.
Next up for the Cherries is a trip to London as Queens Park Rangers play host to Eddie Howe’s side at Loftus Road on Saturday.