Anzhi Makhachkala 0-0 Watford: Hornets end Austria tour with goalless draw

In sweltering conditions, Watford played out a goalless draw with Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala in Austria.

Anzhi Makhachkala 0-0 Watford: Hornets end Austria tour with goalless draw
The game ended goalless in Austria between Watford and Anzhi (Photo:
Anzhi Makhachkala
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Anzhi Makhachkala: Gomes (Pantilimon, HT), Kabasele (Nyom, 60 min), Cathcart (Prodl, 60 min), Britos (Rowan, 80 min), Anya (Zuniga, 65 min), Watson (Suarez, 60 min), Capoue, Doucoure (Mason, 75 min), Holebas (Amrabat, 60 min), Sinclair (Vydra, 60 min), Deeney
Watford: Yurchenko, Musala, Mensah, Lazic, Hajibeyov, Hasanov, Mkrtchyan, Amado, Belisha, Georgievskiy, Budkovskyy.
INCIDENTS: Pre-Season match played between Premier League side Watford and Russian Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala in Austria.

Watford extended their unbeaten pre-season run to four games as they were held to a goalless draw by Russian Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala in Austria.

During a tight affair, chances were hard to come by with Troy Deeney’s effort being the main talking point of the opening 45 minutes.

And just before the break goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes was forced into making a brilliant save to keep things level at half-time.

One main talking point from the game is two players, Deeney and Etienne Capoue managed to get through 90 minutes, while a few others managed at least an hour in the swealtering heat.

Nervy opening to the game

Head coach Walter Mazzarri made six changes to the side that beat German second division side Union Berlin 3-1 on Tuesday, but the Italian still deployed the same 3-5-2 formation.

The game saw new signing Christian Kabasele start in a Hornets shirt for the first time, and Jerome Sinclair operated in the second forward slot along with Deeney.

Both wing-backs were causing Anzhi serious problems in the opening exchanges, as Ikechi Anya and Jose Holebas looked to get forward at every opportunity.

The latter saw a brilliant drilled cross, which was heading across to Sinclair, defended very well, but it wasn’t until 25 minutes when the so called hosts had their first sight at goal.

Ikechi Anya cause problems from the wing-back position (Photo: Getty Images)
Ikechi Anya cause problems from the wing-back position (Photo: Getty Images)

First sight at goal for Anzhi

Svyatolav Georgievskiy played the ball neatly through to Philipp Budkovskiy after a clever turn on the edge of the area, and if it wasn’t for Ben Watson’s interception, the Anzhi man would have had a clear sight at goal.

Those were the only two talking points from an edgy match in, what was, such scorching heat, but the game sprung to life in the closing exchanges of the first-half.

Georgievskiy tried an audacious attempt at goal from a good 35-yards out, and Gomes in the Watford goal managed to recover brilliantly to push the shot onto the cross-bar.

There was just enough time for one more effort, but Deeney couldn’t hit the target from inside the box after Anya broke down the flank and picked out his captain.

Second-half like a training ground exercise

After half-time, Mazzarri’s men came out the blocks quickly and thought they ought to have been awarded a penalty, but the referee waved away all the appeals and told Sinclair to get to his feet.

The former Liverpool man appeared to have been tripped inside the area, but the Hornets had to get on with the game and another chance fell their way soon after.

Watford broke with intent, however, Abdoulaye Doucoure couldn’t’ make the most of a good opportunity as the Anzhi keeper was untroubled.

The second-half lacked chances and both sides saw out the draw in the end as the conditions seemed to get the better of both sides in Santa Andre.

Watford’s unbeaten run continues as they get ready to face Championship side Queens Park Rangers in their penultimate pre-season match of the season this coming week.