Fulham were denied the win their dominant display against Boavista in their final pre-season friendly merited after Heidar Helguson’s early goal was cancelled out by a late strike from Faye Fary at Craven Cottage.
Franck Queudrue enjoyed a superb home debut and almost played a part in giving Chris Coleman’s men the lead five minutes in. The French full-back produced a brilliant switch of play to release Liam Rosenior down the right flank and Collins John probably should have scored rather than sweep a shot wide of the target after being picked out by Michael Brown. Queudrue then stung the palms of visiting goalkeeper William Andem when he pulled the trigger from 20 yards.
The home side’s bright start was rewarded just before the quarter of an hour. Boavista left Helguson free to nod home a teasing free-kick from Jimmy Bullard, but the opening goal seemed to spark the Portuguese visitors into life. Antti Niemi produced an excellent save to prevent Przemys?aw Kazmierczak from equalising with a venomous drive from outside the box. Rosenior scrambled a clearance off the line when Roland Linz got free from a corner and the Austrian striker somehow headed wide at the far post from three yards after Fulham had failed to deal with another set play.
Luis Boa Morte almost extended Fulham’s advantage just before the interval but his improvised volley from the edge of the box was smartly smothered by Andem. Boavista boss Jesualdo Ferreira opted against making changes at half time but certainly sent his side out with instructions to attack as evidenced when Ricardo Sousa rattled the crossbar with a rasping shot just seconds after the restart.
Bjorn Runstrom went close to scoring his first Fulham goal after linking up nicely with Brian McBride but Andem spread himself well to save. A succession of second half substitutions severely disrupted the flow of what had been a very watchable contest and Boavista found an equaliser ten minutes from time. Linz robbed Gabriel Zakuani of possession and saw his shot pushed out by Mark Crossley, only for Faye to find the corner with the follow-up.
Fulham might have a rustled up an equaliser in the closing stages through an unlikely source. Moritz Volz had made a number of rampaging runs down the right flank and a speculative shot from distance whistled fractionally over the crossbar with three minutes to play.
FULHAM (4-4-2): Niemi (Crossley 45); Rosenior (Volz 55), Queudrue (Zakuani 75), Pearce (Bocanegra 45), Christanval (Knight 61); Diop (Elrich 61), Bullard (Timlin 66), Brown (C. Jensen 61), Boa Morte (N. Jensen 75); Helguson (McBride 61), John (Runstrom 61).
GOAL: Helguson (14).
BOAVISTA (4-4-2): Andrade (Jehle, 61), Tambussi (Cisse, 61), R. Silva, M. Silva (Marquinho, 61), Rosário; Tiago (Essame, 75), Kazmierczak (Fary, 75), Zé Manuel (Lucas, 61), Sousa; Grzelak (Dinis, 87), Linz.
GOAL: Fary (79).