Fulham’s pre-season preparations gathered pace on Wednesday night as they recorded their second win of their tour of Costa Rica.
Fresh from Shahid Khan’s takeover, Martin Jol’s men edged out L.D. Alajuelense thanks to goals from Steve Sidwell, Bryan Ruiz and a penalty from Dimitar Berbatov.
Allen Guevara had equalised for the home side before the Premier League club re-established their lead in the penultimate game of the trip.
The players warmed up during an electrical storm as lightening bolts flashed across the sky.
And Fulham struggled to settle in the early stages as their hosts seized the initiative with Kevin Sancho’s shot almost catching out Maarten Stekelenburg.
Cristian Oviedo almost caught out the Dutch keeper with a dipping shot before Alfonso Quesada saved well from Sidwell.
Ashkan Dejagah curled a 25-yard free kick inches wide of the post midway through the half but although the visitors ended the opening period on top, they couldn’t find a way to make their dominance count as both Sidwell and Ruiz were denied.
But that changed just after the hour mark when the same two players combined for the opening goal. Ruiz, back in his homeland, crossed for Sidwell to head home.
The lead lasted just 10 minutes however as Guevara curled the ball past Stekelenburg.
The second half was far from a classic but Fulham did enough to earn victory in the final stages.
A penalty was awarded when Alexander Kacaniklic was sent tumbling by Elías Palma and Berbatov converted from 12 yards.
The Bulgarian was then replaced before, fittingly, Ruiz completed the scoring against his first professional team, firing home at the near post following a fine solo run.
Fulham complete their tour of Costa Rica on Saturday when they take on Deportivo Saprissa before flying to Germany to take on Werder Bremen a week later.
Home friendlies against Real Betis and Parma complete the pre-season preparations before the Cottagers’ Premier League opener against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on August 17.
L.D. ALAJUELENSE (4-4-2): Quesada; Sancho (Salvatierra 64), Guzman (Maurim 80), Palma, Lopez; Guevara (Aguirre 88), Valle (Davies 83), Oviedo (García 80), Alonso; Venegas (Ortiz 74), Aguilar (Sánchez 45). Subs (not used): Lewis, Soto, Gutiérrez.
BOOKED: Palma, Sancho, Guzman.
GOAL: Guevara (72)
FULHAM (4-2-3-1): Stekelenburg; Riether, Richardson, Hughes, Hangeland; Boateng (David 88), Sidwell (Karagounis 83); Dejagah (Kacaniklic 58), Kasami (Mesca 70), Ruiz; Berbatov (Trotta 83). Subs (not used): Etheridge, Senderos, Briggs, Christensen, Duff, Tankovic.
GOALS: Sidwell (62), Berbatov (pen 79), Ruiz (87).