After a week of intensive traning in Poland, Niko Kovac’s players flew to Frankfurt last Saturday morning for their third pre-season friendly. Three weeks before the resumption of Ligue 1, AS Monaco and Eintracht Frankfurt ended on level terms (1-1).

The first chances of the match were going the Germans’ way but Benjamin Lecomte kept the hosts at bay. The French goalkeeper, however, could do nothing on a powerful strike from Gonçalo Paciencia’s left foot in the 59th minute of play. The evening’s Red and White starters then left the pitch to make way for eleven new players. Among them, Willem Geubbels and Anthony Musaba, who clearly anticipated a bad pass from an Eintracht defender. The first player’s attempt was blocked by Kevin Trapp, but the second, from the former NEC Nimjmegen man,  saw him follow up the shot and equalize for AS Monaco.

Two months to get the team up and running

“I’m proud to have scored my first goal for AS Monaco (…) I hope to score more. It feels good,” said Anthony Musaba at the end of the match. “The encounter with Eintracht was positive. I think we had the right frame of mind. We showed some interesting things in streaks, including in the second half, with a good sense of reaction.,” reacted Niko Kovac, who has been coaching the team for the past three weeks.

When questioned by the French newspaper l’Équipe, the coach and former Croatian player was able to give an initial assessment of his career since joining the Principality’s club. After a week of training in Poland, which was “very enriching, both for the staff and for the players”, Niko Kovac is enthusiastic about the idea of working with young players. The Croatian said he is giving himself and his staff “two months” to build up the team physically.

The Red and Whites are now preparing to return to La Turbie. Their next friendly match is scheduled for August 15 against AZ Alkmaar.