Fulham recorded a creditable draw against Real Madrid on Saturday evening in a humid ATV Arena in Irdning. The Spanish side had the better of the possession over the course of the 90 minutes but the clearer goalscoring opportunities fell to Fulham as the Whites put in a solid defensive display to stifle their opponents.
New signing Franck Queudrue was given his first taste of football in a Fulham shirt as he lined up along his new team-mates.
Chris Coleman fielded a much-changed side from the one that so comfortably beat Maccabi Petah Tikva on Wednesday evening - with Michael Timlin, on against Tikva as a substitute, the only player starting to have featured in both matches.
Madrid started with the upper hand and had most of the possession during the opening 15 minutes. However, Fulham were not without threat. On six minutes the ball was rolled wide to Timlin who prodded a pass to Queudrue. From there the ball was worked to Michael Brown, whose shot was parried out by Casillas.
Real Madrid promptly proceeded down the pitch where Raul shinned his effort over the bar, when he should have done better.
Madrid almost opened the scoring in the 12th minute when Julio Baptista thundered a shot against the crossbar. The chance came when a throw-in down Fulham's right saw Rosenior and Guti chasing for a fifty-fifty ball. Both players challenged but the ball broke loose for Guti, who played a pass inside to Baptista. The Brazilian cut inside on his right foot and slammed a shot against the woodwork.
Madrid continued to have the majority of possession, yet without causing Fulham too much undue distress.
As the first half progressed, Fulham started to creep back towards level terms in the possession stakes.
Heidar Helguson almost took advantage of a fine piece of play from Queudrue on 27 minutes. Fulham's latest signing robbed two Madrid players before whipping in a wonderful cross, unfortunately the rapidly advancing Icelandic striker was unable to get to the ball before the boot of a Madrid defender cleared the danger.
Just moment later, Fulham should have taken the lead. Queudrue and Rosenior were starting to trouble the Madrid back line with their surging runs. On this occasion, Brown found Rosenior on the wing, the full back crossed and Collins John headed his effort against the post.
On 34 minutes Madrid striker Antonio Cassano was stretchered from the field after he came off second best in a challenge with Bouba Diop.
The Whites continued to press and, as the first half drew to a close, the ball was spending plenty of time in the Real half.
The second half saw Madrid continue trying to get through Fulham's rearguard but with little success.
Queudrue was replaced by Niclas Jensen just after the hour mark, having made a solid debut.
Guti came close to giving the Spanish side the lead when his volley was well saved by Niemi. The Finnish keeper reacted well and produced a fine reflex save down to his left.
Heidar Helguson's involvement in the match ended on 76 minutes when he was replaced by Bjorn Runstrom. Helguson has previously been off the pitch for an extended period of time after having suffered a nasty cut to the head in a collision with Alvaro Mejia. He returned briefly with his head heavily bandaged.
Minutes later Collins John missed what turned out to be the best chance of the game. Runstrom crossed from the left but John could only head the ball down into the ground from six yards, having lost his marker.
Papa Bouba Diop was next to go close for Fulham as the clock wound down. Diop's chance came after a Fulham cross flew across the box and into the feet of Timlin - his subsequent cross was met by Diop eight yards out, but Casillas was quickly over to his left to gather.
The Spanish side quickly embarked on a counter attack and, with the Whites outnumbered at the back, Brown had little option but to bring down the man in possession and earn himself a yellow card.
Fulham: Niemi; Rosenior, Christanval, Pearce, Queudrue (N Jensen 62); Bullard, Brown, Diop, Timlin; Helguson (Runstrom 76), John
Real Madrid: Casillas; Salgado, Ramos, Woodgate, Raul Bravo; Pablo Garcia, Gravesen, Guti, Raul; Cassano, Baptista