EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

Real Madrid overcome Major League Soccer All-Stars in penalty shootout

The All-Star match marks the end of a four-match, 11-day pre-season US tour for the a Liga and Champions League title holders.

Marcelo scored on the decisive penalty kick as La Liga and Champions League title holders Real Madrid took a shootout victory on Wednesday over the Major League Soccer All-Stars.

Real Madrid played to a 1-1 draw in regulation time in the MLS All-Star Game before taking the shootout 4-2 before a sellout crowd of 61,000 at Soldier Field, the home stadium of the NFL’s Chicago Bears.

Borja Mayoral opened the scoring in the 59th minute for Real Madrid, which controlled possession of the ball throughout the contest.

Mayoral found open space in front of the goal before taking a short pass. His well-timed shot deflected off the leg of a diving defender and into the back of the net for the Spanish giants, who were playing without superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

Dom Dwyer, an England-born member of the US national team, equalised for the MLS squad in the 87th minute with a header from in close.

Dwyer was in the right place for the rebound after Dax McCarty’s header off a corner kick bounced off the post, winning a foot race with Real Madrid’s 19-year-old goalkeeper Luca Zidane, who entered late in the second half.

“It was important to go back with a win but now we are looking forward to the UEFA Super Cup,” said Mayoral, who was named player of the match.

Real Madrid will now return to Europe to meet Manchester United in the UEFA Super Cup in Macedonia on August 8, then take on Barcelona in the two-legged Spanish Super Cup on August 13 and 16 before opening the La Liga season on August 20.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane rotated his squad liberally during the contest. The stars made their appearances but he also inserted several youngsters and fringe players who are trying to make the club.

At times when the stars were on the field it was a humbling affair for the MLS. Left back Greg Garza had to leave the game in the first half with a possible separated shoulder that will cost him some time with Atlanta United.

“What an amazing experience! It was an honor to share the field with such great players!” tweeted MLS forward David Villa.

The All-Star match marks the end of a four-match, 11-day pre-season US tour for Real Madrid that included a 3-2 loss to rival Barcelona in a Clasico matchup at Miami on Sunday.

Real Madrid also drew Manchester United before falling in penalties to the English side in San Francisco on July 23 and lost to Manchester City in Los Angeles on July 26.

Real Madrid has captured back-to-back Champions League titles and a record 33 La Liga championships.

Ronaldo, the reigning FIFA player of the year and the world’s highest-paid athlete at a reported $93 million per year, was ordered before a Spanish court on Monday to answer to tax fraud charges. Ronaldo denies the allegations.

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