Football: Liverpool finish US jaunt with draw against Sporting Lisbon

Georginio Wijnaldum (left) and Divock Origi scored goals for the Reds who played all three exhibition contests in iconic American sports venues. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP, REUTERS) - Liverpool wrapped up their US tour with a 2-2 draw Wednesday (July 24) against Sporting Lisbon as the English Premier League side failed to win a game in their first trip abroad since being crowned European champions.

Liverpool finished with no victories to show from their three-match stateside tour but did manage to salvage a tie against the reigning Portuguese champions at Yankee Stadium in New York.

Marcus Wendel tied the game at 2-2 in the 53rd minute with a right-footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom-right corner after being set up by midfield star Bruno Fernandes.

Fernandes and Wendel also combined for the first goal of the game in the fourth minute for the 18-time Portuguese champions. Fernandes right-footed a seemingly harmless long shot that Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet mishandled before it went into the net.

Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum scored goals for the Reds who played all three exhibition contests in iconic American sports venues.

Jurgen Klopp's side were missing several of their top players, including forwards Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, who were taking a break after competing in the Copa America and African Cup of Nations. Goalkeeper Alisson also decided not to make the trip.

Liverpool came into the contest wondering how they managed to drop their first two games. They lost a 2-1 decision to Spanish club Sevilla on Sunday at Boston's Fenway Park, following a 3-2 defeat by Germany's Borussia Dortmund at Notre Dame Stadium on Friday.

Sporting's Luciano Vietto had one of the best scoring chances of Wednesday's game but was stopped twice in a row from point-blank range by Mignolet just before the half.

Teen sensation Sepp van den Berg made his exhibition debut for Liverpool in the Yankee Stadium showdown, as the 17-year-old Dutch defender came on in the 89th minute. Liverpool signed the teenager over the summer from Dutch Eredivisie side PEC Zwolle.

Liverpool will now head home to Merseyside before facing Napoli in Edinburgh this weekend and then depart for a training camp in Evian.

There was, however, concern for right-back Nathaniel Clyne, who is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering knee ligament damage during the Dortmund game and was flown home early for treatment.

"What can I say other than how gutted we all are for Clyney," Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told the club website. "Clearly an injury of this nature isn't a happy moment for any player, but the silver lining for him is that, according to the medical guys, it's a straightforward ACL injury. This means fixing it and coming back from it should follow a path that is free from pitfalls and complications.

"At the moment there isn't much more to say beyond we'll all support Clyney in whatever way we can and we look forward to seeing him back on the pitch as soon as responsibly possible."

Clyne, 28, who has one year remaining on his Liverpool contract, had been linked with a return to his former club Crystal Palace by the British media. He spent the second half of last season on loan at Bournemouth, making 15 appearances in all competitions.

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