21:38 6th August 2013
by Ben Mouncer
Van Wolfswinkel hits first goal for City in friendly draw
RICKY van Wolfswinkel scored his first goal for Norwich City as the Canaries drew 1-1 with Champions League qualifiers Real Sociedad at Carrow Road on Tuesday night.
The Club record signing poked home on 12 minutes to give City a half-time lead, but Carlos Vela’s equaliser in the second period meant the game ended all square.
Van Wolfswinkel had another clear chance to double his tally in the first half, the standout opportunity in a game of few as both sides took precautions with the season close on the horizon.
City will now host Panathinaikos on Saturday in their final warm-up game before the campaign starts in earnest against Everton on August 17.
Chris Hughton gave a first start of pre-season to Bradley Johnson, who has been suffering with a knee injury sustained in the United States, while the home support got their first look at summer signings Martin Olsson, Nathan Redmond, Leroy Fer and van Wolfswinkel.
Robert Snodgrass overcame illness to start, yet the visitors showed their class early on, keeping possession well on a slick Carrow Road surface.
The opening ten minutes saw next to no goalmouth action, but City took the lead on 12 – Snodgrass’ delivery was perfect for Fer to head down, and his countryman was on hand to bundle in and open his Canaries account.
The crowd’s response was vocal as their new hero gave them something to cheer, and the liveliness of Redmond and Olsson down the left certainly gave the game a spark.
On 25 minutes, City manoeuvred a short corner to Steven Whittaker, but the Scottish international full-back long range effort was comfortably seen over the bar by Sociedad stopper Bravo.
Van Wolfswinkel then nearly netted his second on the half hour – a poor backpass by visiting skipper Martinez allowed the forward in, but Bravo was quick to close down his shot.
Sociedad moved the ball around nicely but Bunn didn’t have a save to make, with their solitary chance of the half coming four minutes before the end as Sangalli fired wide.
HALF-TIME: Norwich City 1-0 Real Sociedad
Wingers Snodgrass and Redmond combined well straight after the break, with the former forcing a save from Bravo before Whittaker kept his side in it up the other end.
Carlos Vela, formerly of Arsenal, broke into the box and squared a ball that eventually fell to Pardo, whose goal-bound drive was blocked superbly by the City defender.
Vela then curled a shot over as Sociedad appeared keener in the early stages of the second half, and after a charging run that almost brought a goal, the Mexican equalised on 66 minutes.
The tricky forward was found in the box and wasted no time in dispatching his shot past Bunn – a merited equaliser for the Spanish side as they’d been largely on top since half-time.
Norwich responded with Redmond racing to the byline on the right but no-one had caught up with him to meet his cross, but chances were generally difficult to come by.
Gary Hooper came on for his Carrow Road debut with ten minutes to go, but the closest the Canaries came to a winner was when Jonny Howson tamely headed Elliott Bennett cross at Bravo.
Sociedad tried a couple of speculative long range efforts in the closing moments, before Russ Martin deflected a header over, but the game finished one-all.
FULL-TIME: Norwich City 1-1 Real Sociedad
GOALS: Norwich City – Ricky van Wolfswinkel (12) Real Sociedad – Carlos Vela (66)
NORWICH CITY: Bunn; Whittaker, Turner (R Bennett 67), Martin (c), Olsson (Garrido 63); Snodgrass (E Bennett 80), Howson, Johnson (Hoolahan 63), Redmond; Fer (Tettey 83); van Wolfswinkel (Hooper 80). Subs not used: Nash (GK), Ayala, Butterfield, Becchio.
REAL SOCIEDAD: Bravo; Martinez (c), Inigo, Agirretxe (Seferovic 75), Vela (Castro 81), Pardo (Ros 81), Zurutuza (Elustondo 81) , Cadamuro, Angel, Sangalli (Prieto 59), Gaztanaga. Subs not used: Griezmann, Zubikarai (GK), Ansotegi, de la Bella, Royo (GK).