Date: 4th August 2018 at 9:34pm
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Onel Hernandez scored a dramatic late equaliser at St. Andrews as Norwich opened the season with a 2-2 draw against Birmingham City.

Daniel Farke gave four of the summer’s new signings their full Canary debut as he opted for experience over youth on opening day. Alex Tettey was a surprise inclusion in midfield with new boys Tim Krul, Ben Marshall, Teemu Pukki and a fit-again Jordan Rhodes also all starting.

The first half was goalless with City having the lions’ share of the possession, as we’ve come to expect under Herr Farke, but unable to score a goal, as we’ve often seen before. Jordan Rhodes came the closest to breaking the deadlock with a header that Connal Trueman in the Blues’ goal, tipped over the bar at full stretch.

Jacques Maghoma scored the game’s opening goal on 56 minutes, when he smashed home a loose ball after a corner. That prompted Farke into action and just after the hour mark, the Norwich Head Coach made a double substitution with Mo Leitner replacing James Husband and Kenny McLean coming on for Tom Trybull. They were followed by Dennis Srbeny for Marco Stiepermann on 77 minutes.

The changes made a big difference and it was Hernandez who got an equaliser six minutes from the end with a left foot shot after some clever footwork in the Birmingham area.

It was no more than Norwich deserved but they were rocked by another Birmingham goal on 89 minutes from Viv Solomon-Otabor, which looked to have won it for the home side.

However, just like last season, Norwich would not be denied on the opening day and it was Hernandez again who got the goal.

Dennis Srbeny did brilliantly to avoid two attempts to  tackle him before slipping the ball through to Hernandez on the left. He strode forward and stroked the ball past the advancing Trueman to equalise for the second time in the 94th minute.

A draw was probably a fair result, although equalising in the 94th minute always feels like a huge moment for any side’s fans and the travelling 2,300 Canaries went wild. This will be a huge shot in the arm for Daniel Farke’s squad and if we’re honest with ourselves, an away point on the opening day of the season isn’t the worst point we’ll get all season.

Birmingham: Trueman; Colin, Morrison, Dean, Pedersen; Jota (Solomon-Otabor 74), Gardner (Ndoye 74), Kieftenbeld, Maghoma; Jutkiewicz, Adams (Lubala 90). Unused subs: Weaver (GK), Roberts, Dacres-Cogley

Norwich: Krul; Marshall, Hanley (C), Klose, Husband (Leitner 63); Tettey, Trybull (McLean 63); Hernandez, Pukki, Stiepermann (Srbeny 75); Rhodes. Unused subs: McGovern (GK), Zimmermann, Thompson, Cantwell

OTBC

 

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