Huddersfield Town 1-1 Montpellier HSC: Terriers draw to Ligue 1 opposition
Photo by Ben Early via Getty Images

Jan Siewart's side returned to the John Smith's Stadium to face Ligue 1 Montpellier in their first home game of their pre-season. The Terriers are so far unbeaten in their pre-season matches with one draw and four wins, most recently when they faced Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat in a 2-0 win on Wednesday night.

Michel Der Zakarian, manager of Montpellier, was preparing for his third season at the helm of the French side, they finished tenth and sixth in his first two campaigns in charge. Captaining the French side was 41-year-old Vitorino Hilton, a veteran of football, the Brazillian stared with Chapecoense in 1996.

Huddersfield wore their now famous 'unsponsored' PaddyPower blue and white striped home shirt. The 'save the shirt' campaign now includes five clubs and has gained popularity across social media. Initially, the club wore a strip including a sash containing the PaddyPower branding prominently across the front. The shirts of this design that were worn against Rochdale are being auctioned to raise money for local charities in West Yorkshire. However, the campaign has been controversial in its implementation with other clubs.

Under the heavy rain, thousands of vocal Town fans flocked out to the Kirklees Stadium to see the Terriers play underneath the floodlights.

Huddersfield started the game on the front foot, with Juniho Bacuna nearly netting one for Jan Siewart's side within four minutes, after being one-on-one with keeper Bertaud.

Laborde scores the first

Montpellier forward Gaëtan Laborde opened the scoring in the fifteenth minute. After some good play between his midfielders, the ball was threaded through to him near the penalty spot. With just goalkeeper Ryan Schofield to beat, he calmly slotted it into the bottom right.

Florent Mollet nearly made it two within 25 minutes, when his side-footed volley from the edge of the box was only denied by the woodwork.

Huddersfield struggled to break down Montpellier's three-man backline of Hilton, Mendesand Congré, and their only real chances came from the two free-kicks outside of the box that they were awarded, both being saved by Bertaud.

Terriers defender Kongolo came close to scoring in the 40th minute from a corner, only to fall to the ground with an injury after the ball sailed over the bar. The stretcher was brought onto the pitch, but after a short wait, Kongolo was able to carry on with the match.

Montpellier led 1-0 going into the second half and had looked the much stronger of the two. There was only a single substitution at half time, with Australian international Aaron Mooy replacing Huddersfield captain Jonathan Hogg.

Both sides looked stronger in the second half, each playing fast passing football on the floor. Montpellier did not have many opportunities in which they broke the Terriers defence, but were much more clinical when they did.

Grant equalises

However, Huddersfield number 16 Karlan Grant managed to score an equaliser in the 55th minute. Bacuna played an inch-perfect pass through to him and he managed to beat one defender, and then round the goalkeeper. After that, he comfortably tapped it into the back of the net.

For a long period after the goal, both sides only created half-chances, and neither were able to execute the few that they did create to convert them into a goal.

Takeaways from the match

Huddersfield looked much better once midfielder Aaron Mooy entered the pitch. Mooy instantly made an impact and was brilliant at linking up play between the rest of midfield where it had previously been quite sloppy.

Montpellier's defence was very strong, and even though he is 41 years old, Hilton was perfect. The entire french side worked very well together, and retained possession well. However, they were rarely able to get the ball up to their attacking players.

Both sides looked as if they would perform comfortably in the upcoming season, but each had weaknesses of their own that would need to be ironed out before the start of the season.