Football: Falcao returns for Monaco in friendly after six months out

Monaco's Colombian forward Radamel Falcao runs during Monaco's (ASM) first team training session on June 30, 2014 at the Monaco training camp in La Turbie, south-eastern France. -- PHOTO: AFP
Monaco's Colombian forward Radamel Falcao runs during Monaco's (ASM) first team training session on June 30, 2014 at the Monaco training camp in La Turbie, south-eastern France. -- PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Monaco striker Radamel Falcao made his first appearance for over six months, as a second-half substitute in his side's 2-2 friendly draw against Valencia in London on Saturday.

The 28-year-old Colombia international had not played since rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a French Cup game against amateur side Chasselay on Jan 22.

The injury cut short his debut season at the big-spending Ligue 1 club and prevented him from appearing at the World Cup, where Colombia reached the quarter-finals.

Falcao replaced Dimitar Berbatov with 18 minutes to play at the Emirates Stadium, taking up a central role alongside Valere Germain in a 4-4-2 system, but did not manage any attempts on goal.

The match was the opening game of the Emirates Cup pre-season tournament, which also features hosts Arsenal and Benfica.

Monaco took the lead in the 30th minute when Joao Moutinho's left-wing corner was met by Aymen Abdennour and flicked into the net off Ruben Vezo for an own goal.

A Ricardo Carvalho own goal six minutes later levelled the scores and Valencia went in front 20 minutes from full-time when substitute Paco Alcacer tapped in a low cross from Aly Cissokho.

But after Falcao had made his entrance from the bench, Lucas Ocampos struck an 80th-minute equaliser for Monaco, running from deep and planting a shot in the bottom-left corner from outside the box.

Monaco, runners-up to Paris Saint-Germain last season, open their Ligue 1 campaign at home to Lorient a week on Sunday.

Valencia's season does not begin until Aug 23, when they visit Sevilla in La Liga.