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Pachuca v Sunderland: Pre-Season Friendly

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On This Day (17 July 2015): Kaboul signs as Advocaat’s Sunderland lose friendly in California

Despite Jack Rodwell scoring (yup) and Jordan Pickford saving a penalty (obviously), Sunderland weren’t able to celebrate Younes Kaboul’s arrival at the club with a win against CF Pachuca in California.

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Ah, the summer of 2015. All was well - or so it seemed.

Dick Advocaat had been enticed back to the club after the fans bought his wife some flowers, and another rebuild was on the cards after an ultimately disappointing 2014/15 season in which we lost Gus Poyet and stayed up by the skin of our teeth.

Big Dick was still a big name manager, and his influence in the European transfer market gave supporters some hope that we’d bring in proper players to try and crack the top ten of the Premier League for what seemed like the millionth time.

Some of his first bits of business seemed sensible - Santiago Vergini was allowed to leave to join La Liga side Getafe, and in came Tottenham Hotspur stalwart Younes Kaboul to replace him.

Kaboul had a pretty dodgy injury record, but was established as a top Premier League defender when fit. Advocaat knew that signing a proper centre half would be key to any success we were likely to achieve, and after losing patience with the pursuit of Nicolas Lombaerts, he instead turned to the France international to shore up his back line.

Whilst that was all going on over on Wearside, the team were in California for a training camp ahead of the season, and faced tough opposition in Sacramento in the form of Mexican side CF Pachuca.

SUNDERLAND: Pickford, Matthews, O’Shea, Brown, Jones, Cattermole, Giaccherini (Larsson 46), Rodwell, Wickham (Graham 65), Fletcher (Watmore 65), Defoe

The training camp to that point had been fairly miserable, with the side losing against local side Sacramento Republic in our first game, and things weren’t about to get any better against Pachuca who, in fairness, were already well ahead in terms of fitness.

It was Sunderland who drew blood first though, and a thumping 30-yard effort from Jack Rodwell opened the scoring in the 4th minute to put the Lads ahead.

It was all sadly downhill from there though, with Pachuca striker Ariel Nahuelpan scoring twice inside the opening 25 minutes to put the Mexicans ahead.

Jordan Pickford was kept busy throughout the first half, and was certainly made to earn his keep that evening between the sticks.

Pachuca continued to barrage his goal, and when Sunderland went in search of an equaliser, a characteristic error from Billy Jones allowed them their third.

They almost killed their game off with a fourth - a clumsy challenge in the box from John O’Shea gave Ruben Botta a penalty, but the spot kick king Jordan Pickford saved to deny him the opportunity to add to what would have been an even more embarrassing scoreline.

Next up - a friendly against Toronto to round off our trip to the States.

Third time lucky, perhaps?

Pachuca v Sunderland: Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images
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