Real Madrid clobbers LA Galaxy
Madrid: Real Madrid scored early and often in outclassing the Los Angeles Galaxy on Thursday, opening a four-game US exhibition tour with a 5-1 victory over Major League Soccer`s champion.
Angel Di Maria set up Gonzalo Higuain`s opener after just 85 seconds and made it 2-0 nine minutes later for the Spanish champions, who added goals through Jose Maria Callejon in the 36th minute, Alvaro Morata four minutes into the second half and Alex Fernandez near the finish.
Brazilian defender David Junior Lopes scored the Galaxy`s goal in the 23rd, from a David Beckham free kick which was headed toward the goalmouth.
The game drew 30,317, a record for a football game at Home Depot Center.
The Spaniards brought on several of their biggest stars - including Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Mesut Ozil - for the second half, but LA`s defense limited their chances. The Galaxy also changed their entire team for the second half, with Beckham, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane among those departing.
Higuain provided the early lead when Di Maria`s pass from the right flank caught Lopes flat-footed, and Di Maria made it 2-0 in the 11th, cutting inside from the right flank and blasting a left-footed shot between rookie Bryan Gaul`s legs and past L.A. goalkeeper Josh Saunders.
Lopes halved the deficit but Callejon finished from Higuain`s defense-splitting pass to complete a three-pass, full-field sequence.
Alvaro Morata tallied four minutes into the second half from an Esteban Granero chip, and Fernandez added a fifth with six minutes to play. Ronaldo nearly added another in the 86th, but his shot was cleared off the line.
Real Madrid`s tour continues with games Sunday against Mexican champion Santos Laguna in Las Vegas, Wednesday against Italian runner-up AC Milan at Yankee Stadium, and Aug. 11 against Scottish titlist Celtic in Philadelphia.
BDST: 1525 HRS, August 3, 2012
Chanchal Ghosh, Newsroom Editor