ICC 2018: Real Madrid hoists the crown in European duel against Juventus

Written by Merrissa Vault

It was the battle of the European kings on Saturday night at FedEx Field between Real Madrid C.F. and Juventus F.C. during the 2018 International Champions Cup, but it was the European champions, Real Madrid, that wore the crown after a 3-1 defeat over the Serie A winners, Juventus.

Excitement surrounded this match as two of the most notorious teams were set to face off in the latter end of their tour in the States. Of course, this match was highlighted as a must see less than a month after the “BIG” trade of Ballon d’Or winner, Cristiano Ronaldo, to Juventus. However, it was a slight disappointment to U.S. fans as Ronaldo did not make the trip to the States.

Real Madrid was also missing soccer star, Sergio Ramos, after his late return back to the club. Ramos did participate in a solo warm up prior to game time but did not grace the field during the match. Despite the numerous stars missing from the pitch, both teams put on a show for the 71,597 fans in attendance. However, it was the chants of “Hala Madrid” that helped cheer Real to a 3-1 defeat over the Italian club.

Despite the 3-1 victory, Madrid did not start off with the hot foot. Juventus was the first to find the back of the net after Cancelo slotted a cross across the face of the goal and a mis-clearance from Daniel Carvajal caused an own goal for Madrid.

Real Madrid head coach, Julen Lopetegui addressed the own goal after the game. “Despite letting up an early goal which is obviously bad luck,” said Lopetegui. “The team showed poise to get back in the game.”

Madrid did not let the mishap dim their fire and 15 minutes later Gareth Bale bent it like Beckham over Wojciech Szczesny to tie the game up [1-1] right before half.

The second half spiraled downhill for Juventus while Real Madrid upheld their momentum the remaining 45 minutes. Vinicus Junior continued dynamic runs down the left flank creating chances inside the box for his forwards to attack and ultimately creating an opportunity for the 22-year-old Marco Asensio to put one through the net to give Real the lead [2-1]. The midfielder continued to craft his way through Juventus and rallied his second goal of the night with a chipper right through the hands of Szczesny [3-1] in the 56th minute to seal the deal for Madrid and earn Man of the Match.

Lopetegui was very impressed with his team’s performance stating, “a lot of players played extremely well today- It wasn’t about one or two players, the team played well collectively and when the team plays well everyone looks good.”

Real Madrid will head back on the road for their last game in the States against Roma on Tuesday at MetLife Stadium. Juventus will conclude their tour and head back home to prepare for their next match against Chievo.

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