- Goals from Jamie Murphy and Tomer Hemed give Albion the win
- Anthony Knockaert is taken off early in the first half
- Markus Suttner and Pascal Gross make their Brighton debuts
- The Seagulls are next in action at Crawley on Saturday 22nd July
Brighton & Hove Albion began their pre-season campaign with a 2-0 victory over Fortuna Dusseldorf at the Sportplatz Bischofshofen.
Two second-half goals in as many minutes from Jamie Murphy and Tomer Hemed gave Albion a hard-fought win against the Bundesliga 2 side.
Manager Chris Hughton handed debuts to Markus Suttner and Pascal Gross in his first-half team, while Niki Maenpaa started between the sticks after the club confirmed he had signed a new one-year contract shortly before kick-off.
Albion made the brighter start in atrocious weather conditions, and it was Lewis Dunk who had the first goalscoring opportunity when his free-kick was parried by Dusseldorf keeper Michael Rensing, before Beram Kayal slipped as he pulled the trigger on the follow-up.
Anthony Knockaert was injured in the awarding of the set-piece and was replaced by Kazenga LuaLua inside the opening ten minutes.
Fortuna then had a golden opportunity to break the deadlock, but Ihlas Bebou saw his looping header saved by Maenpaa.
Glenn Murray was next to come close for Albion, but his headed effort from an in-swinging corner went wide.
Behou showed some good skill out on the left to tee up Marcel Sobottka in a central position, but his dipping long-range strike just cleared the crossbar.
Solly March showed some neat footwork down at the other end to engineer an opening, but his subsequent strike went well wide of the target.
Dusseldorf ended the half strongest, as a volley from Rouwen Hennings went narrowly over the crossbar, before Niko Giesselman did the same with a speculative effort.
Maenpaa then made a stunning one-handed stop to keep out Sobottka’s effort in the closing stages of the half.
Hughton made ten changes to his second-half team, with Maenpaa the only player to remain from the first-half line-up.
After a relatively quiet opening ten minutes, Hennings had the first chance, but Maenpaa made a comfortable save. Hemed then fired wide from close range after Dusseldorf failed to deal with Gaetan Bong’s cross.
Steve Sidwell was penalised down the other end of the pitch after a challenge on Behou, but Kaan Ayhan’s attempt went over the target.
Despite Dusseldorf’s pressure, Albion took the lead through Murphy, who drove in from the left before sending an unstoppable strike beyond the outstretched Rensing in the 77th minute.
The lead was doubled two minutes later through Hemed, who cleverly headed Oliver Norwood’s free-kick past Rensing.
The Seagulls saw out the closing stages with relative ease to begin pre-season on a positive note.