Bissouma scores stunning late free kick as Brighton draw at Birmingham

A stunning late Yves Bissouma free kick saw Albion draw 1-1 at Birmingham in their latest pre-season friendly this afternoon.

Saturday, 28th July 2018, 5:56 pm
Updated Saturday, 28th July 2018, 6:04 pm
Yves Bissouma fires home the late free kick. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Bissouma rocketed a fierce free kick past impressive Birmingham keeper Connal Trueman with virtually the last kick of the game, after Maikel Kieftenbeld's superb volley gave Birmingham a first-half lead.

Albion went into the game having drawn friendlies with St Gallen and Charlton (both 1-1) and lost to AFC Wimbledon (2-1). In behind-closed-doors friendlies, the Seagulls had beaten Crawley 3-0 in an hour-long game and drawn 1-1 with Portsmouth in a 75-minute match.

Birmingham, who begin their Championship campaign at home to Norwich next weekend, had the better of the first half and led at half-time through Kieftenbeld's superb strike.

Anthony Knockaert wins a header at Birmingham. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Blues winger Jota fired over from distance early on, before Albion keeper Mathew Ryan pushed away Jacques Maghoma's low shot on 14 minutes.

Lukas Jutkiewicz just failed to get on the end of Jota's cross seven minutes later, before Pascal Gross's well-struck shot flew just over at the other end.

Birmingham took the lead on 31 minutes when Brighton cleared Che Adams' cross only as far as Kieftenbeld, who fired an unstoppable volley into the top corner from 25 yards.

Albion midfielder Davy Propper miscued a shot high and wide after Gross's cross was blocked four minutes later, before the half ended on a painful note for Seagulls captain Bruno as Jota's powerful shot struck him in the face.

Lewis Dunk is closed down by Che Adams. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Brighton made a lively start to the second half but Birmingham missed a great chance to double their lead on 55 minutes when Che Adams fired wide from Viv Solomon-Otabor's flick.

Anthony Knockaert had a drive pushed away by Birmingham keeper Connal Trueman moments later and Shane Duffy headed the resulting corner over.

Blues keeper Trueman then produced an outstanding save to keep out Lewis Dunk's close-range header from Knockaert's cross, before Ryan was forced into a smart save to push away Jutkiewicz's low 20-yard effort.

Murray stung the fingertips of Trueman with a near-post strike from a tight angle on 74 minutes but it took until the final minute for Albion to level as Bissouma scored from a 20-yard free kick.

Birmingham: Trueman; Colin, Pedersen, Kieftenbeld, Morrison, Dean, Jota, Gardner, Adams, Jutkiewicz, Maghoma. Subs: Weaver, Ndoye, Dacres-Cogley, Roberts, Harding, Solomon-Otabor, Lakin, Lubala.

Albion: Ryan; Bruno, Duffy, Dunk (Balogun 75), Bernardo; Knockaert, Propper, Stephens, March; Gross (Bissouma 71); Murray (Hemed 75). Subs: Button, White, Gyokeres, Suttner.