Kanu gets off the mark in Albion victory

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The Independent Football

Nwankwo Kanu scored his first pre-season goal of the summer as West Bromwich Albion beat Cardiff City 2-0 at Ninian Park yesterday.

Several players were facing their former employers as Robert Earnshaw returned to face Cardiff while Darren Purse and Jason Koumas welcomed the club they left this summer.

Kanu displayed his trademark composure to put Albion in front, slotting past Tony Warner after latching on to Toni Koskela's poor back-pass. Steve Watson and Zoltan Gera combined later in the half and Warner reacted fastest to clear the cross away from Earnshaw.

Thomas Gaardsoe and Neil Clement were efficient at the back for the hosts while Purse also looked steady at the other end and came close to scoring late in the half when his header went narrowly wide of Tomasz Kuszczak's post.

In the second half Earnshaw came close, his free-kick hitting the bar. Kuszczak was called into action to save Andrea Ferretti's long-range drive after Gera was denied at the other end by Neil Alexander.

Gera was very unlucky to see his free-kick goal disallowed for offside but the victory was complete in the 71st minute when Gaardsoe added a second, tapping home Gera's flick-on.

Fulham were punished for a lack of sharpness in front of goal as they lost 4-1 against an MLS All Stars side at the Columbus Crew Stadium on Saturday night. Claus Jensen's spot-kick shortly before half-time cancelled out Taylor Twellman's opener but Ronnie O'Brien won the game with a strike 10 minutes after the break. And Jeff Cunningham came off the bench to score twice in the last 10 minutes as the MLS side secured a comfortable victory.

The MLS All Stars took the lead in the 23rd minute. Landon Donovan fed the ball to Twellman, who beat Carlos Bocanegra to the ball and poked it beyond Crossley. Jensen equalised from the penalty spot 13 minutes later after Luis Boa Morte was felled by Chris Albright.

Fulham fell behind again in the 56th minute. Bocanegra headed away an Ivan Guerrero effort but Clint Dempsey's follow-up volley was deflected past Drobny by O'Brien.

Cunningham collected a neat pass from Christian Gomez and fired a low drive in off a post to put the All Stars 3-1 up in the 85th minute. Four minutes later he collected a pass in the centre circle and burst through the Fulham defence to complete the scoring.

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