Manchester City midfielder Chidi Nwakali is in the midst of his Dons debut against Lokomotiv Tashkent in Dubai, with the Reds 2-0 down after half an hour.
The Dons are still waiting on a work permit for the 21-year-old Nigerian and are confident that will be cleared by Saturday’s Scottish Cup clash with St Mirren.
The Uzbekistan champions were ahead when Islom TUKHTAKHUJAEV raced on to a Marat Birmaev corner to head home.
It was 2-0 two minutes later when Sherzodbek KARIMOV smashed a cut-back beyond keeper Joe Lewis.
Nwakali was free to face the Uzbekistan side in the Middle East because it is not classed as an official game.
There was no place in the squad for striker Stevie May and new signing Niall McGinn, who are both battling back to fitness.
May is out with an ankle injury, while McGinn underwent groin surgery in early December.
Defender Scott McKenna was on the bench. Aberdeen knocked back a bid from Championship side Hull City for the stopper yesterday.
ABERDEEN: Lewis, Logan, Shinnie, O’Connor, Reynolds, McLean, Stewart, Rooney, Mackay-Steven, Nwakali, Christie.
SUBS: Rogers, Maynard, Arnason, Wright, Campbell, Ball, McKenna, Harvie, Ross.
LOKOMOTIV TASHKENT: Nesterov, Bikmaev, Tukhtakhujaev, Makharadze, Mirzaev, Zoteev, Mukhammadiev, Abdullaev, Karimov, Alibaev, Dmitriy.
SUBS: Igramov, Karimov, Bobojonov, Shhaakmedov, Mustafaev, Amonov. Birmaykin, Bobur, Bermuratov, Sukjae.