Date: 16th July 2008 at 11:06am
Written by:

Many Clarets fans may have stayed up to watch on USLLive the US friendly game against Minnesota Thunder at the National Sports Center in Blaine last night.

The bleary eyes may now be worth it this morning after the Clarets defeated the USL Division One side 2-0 thanks to two late goals by Chris McCann and Jay Rodriguez.

The Clarets started this match with the following line-up:

Jensen, Alexander, Carlisle, Caldwell, Kalvenes, McCann, K McDonald, Gudjonsson, Elliott, Blake, Paterson.

Subs: Akinbiyi, Duff, Jordan, Mahon, Jones, Rodriguez, A MacDonald, Kay

By the end of the game following a hectic sequence of substitutions in the second half, everybody on the bench would get the chance to come on and shine.

An impresive crowd of more than 7,000 fans turned up to watch the game.

The match started lively enough with the Clarets looking the most likely to score, however as the match progressed it was clear that both defences were holding their own with no side able to break through and get the first goal.

Christian Kalvenes, handed his debut at left back after missing the Cary U-23 match with a tight chest, looked the most impressive going on some attacking moves out of defence. Indeed the Clarets back four this time looked far more solid than in the previous game. The game did seem a little scrappy as the first half progressed with no side dominating and it was no surprise when the sides went in level at 0-0.

The Clarets came out for the second half with surprisingly no changes to the side.

Burnley,by far the more physical side and with the fouls tally confirming this had Elliott booked after 51 minutes.

The Clarets energy in the sun then began to sap again as Thunder had their best spell.

It was time for Owen Coyle to change things around and bring on some fresh legs.

Michael Duff, Stephen Jordan, Alan Mahon and Steve Jones replaced Clarke Carlisle, Graham Alexander, Joey Gudjonsson and Wade Elliott after 61 minutes, then Ade Akinbiyi came on for Robbie Blake after 67 minutes followed by Adam Kay and Jay Rodriguez on for Christian Kalvanes and Martin Paterson after 78 minutes just before our first goal.

Chris McCann on 79 minutes rose the highest to head home Mahon’s cross from a corner.

A shot by Thunder’s substitute Stephen de Roux almost immediatley after our goal fooled even the USLLive commentators who shouted goal before realising the ball had hit the side netting.

Time for one more Clarets substitution with Alex MacDonald replacing the solid and impressive, Kevin McDonald after 83 minutes.

It was young MacDonald who then went on an excellent run in stoppage time to find his shot parried. The ball however fell to Jay Rodriguez who tapped home from close range to make it 2-0 and game over.

Man of the Match goes to Christian Kalvenes, an impressive debut by the Norwegian.

Perhaps not an exciting game with the Clarets often looking tired and disinterested but the goals and victory will have settled nerves as the US Tour comes to an end. That all important first pre-season win will stand them in good stead with another seven friendlies still to play before the start of the season.

Next up the Scottish tour:

July 19th: Queen of the South A (kick-off 3 p.m.)
July 21th: Partick Thistle A (kick-off 7-30 p.m.)
July 23rd: St. Johnstone A (kick-off 7-30 p.m.)