Henri Lansbury, Lars Veldwijk and Stephen McLaughlin were on the scoresheet as Nottingham Forest beat Porto B 3-2 this evening.In warm conditions in the suburb of Pedroso, Lansbury cancelled out Kleber’s fourth-minute opener only for the hosts to restore their advantage in the early stages of the second half.
But substitutes Veldwijk and McLaughlin were on hand to turn the scoreline on its head, handing The Reds their second successive pre-season victory following Saturday’s 4-0 win at Ilkeston.
Forest lined up with Karl Darlow in goal, Danny Collins and trialist Amadou Haidara in the centre of defence and Danny Fox and Louis Laing at full back. Greg Halford was handed a central midfield berth alongside David Vaughan, with Jamie Paterson and Ben Osborn providing the width, while Lansbury played behind striker Simon Cox.
Porto had the lead within four minutes when Kleber drilled the ball low to Darlow’s right from the edge of the area, and they nearly made it two on 16 minutes when Leandro Silva sent the ball across Darlow’s goal and narrowly wide with a cross-cum-shot.
Cox scored twice at Ilkeston and was on the hunt again on 23 minutes, racing on to a lofted ball over the top before being blocked off by an alert Caio in the Porto goal.
The Reds were growing into the game and, after Paterson had been felled 24 yards out, Caio was called in to make an excellent save from Lansbury’s free-kick.
But the midfielder wasn’t to be denied two minutes before the interval as he curled the ball right-footed from the corner of the area and watched on as it dipped just under the crossbar and into the net.
Forest had acquitted themselves well against their young opponents but found themselves behind again after the interval, David Bruno doing well to head the ball home from a 58th-minute corner.
A string of Forest substitutions followed as Paterson, Vaughan, Lansbury, Cox, Collins and Fox were replaced by Veldwijk, McLaughlin, Jorge Grant, Dan Harding, Radoslaw Majewski and Jamie Mackie.
Those changes seemed to give Forest the spark they needed, Osborn threatening with a teasing ball across the face of goal, but they had to remain resolute defensively. Haidara did well to keep pace with Celestin Djim before producing a strong last-ditch tackle to prevent the forward from shooting inside the area.
But the scores were level eight minutes later when Porto failed to clear inside their own area, allowing Veldwijk the chance to fire the ball low past the wrong-footed keeper.
And the comeback was complete with two minutes to play when McLaughlin capitalised on a sloppy Porto pass, took the ball forward and smashed it low, hard and across Caio into the bottom corner of the net.