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Chris McKee has the decisive say as Linfield stun Qatar in pre-season friendly in Marbella

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Chris McKee struck the only goal for Linfield in Marbella

Chris McKee struck the only goal for Linfield in Marbella

Chris McKee struck the only goal for Linfield in Marbella

Chris McKee’s goal earned Linfield a stunning 1-0 victory over the Qatar national side in their pre-season friendly in Marbella.

The Blues, who are situated on the Spanish south coast on a warm-weather training camp ahead of their upcoming European campaign, kicked off their preparations in perfect fashion with a hard-fought win over the World Cup hosts.

Striker McKee, who returned to Linfield on a permanent deal earlier in the transfer window after spending last season on loan at Windsor Park, was the difference between the two sides as his 19th-minute strike was the only goal of the game.

Goalkeeper Chris Johns kept a clean sheet against the World Cup-bound hosts, while there was a first start for winger Joel Cooper on his return to the club from Oxford United.

Meanwhile, reports from Scotland have indicated that Finnish striker Eetu Vertainen could be on his way back to Windsor Park, with parent club St Johnstone open to a second loan spell.

The 23-year-old joined the Blues on a temporary basis in January and helped them to the Danske Bank Premiership title, scoring four goals in six appearances for the club.

With the champions in need of firepower up front after the departure of Christy Manzinga, a reunion with the Finn makes sense for David Healy’s men, with St Johnstone keen to facilitate the deal.

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The Scottish Premiership side have already signed Canadian striker Theo Bair for the new campaign and manager Callum Davidson is actively looking for another forward, which suggests Vertainen is the odd man out.


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