Real Madrid outclasses Galaxy in 5-1 win
Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid attempts a bicycle kick against Rafael Garcia and Andrew Boyens of Los Angeles Galaxy
CARSON, Calif. ● Real Madrid scored early and often in outclassing the Los Angeles Galaxy on Thursday night, opening a four-game U.S. exhibition tour with a 5-1 victory over Major League Soccer’s champion.
Angel Di Maria assisted on 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 that Omar Gonzalez headed into the goalmouth.
The game drew 30,317, a record for a soccer game at Home Depot Center.
It was the third straight year Real Madrid has played the Galaxy in a preseason exhibition after spending a week training at UCLA. The Merengues open the Spanish season Aug. 18.
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 a second-minute 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 in the 23rd, his second goal in an exhibition in 10 days, but Callejon tallied from Higuain’s defense-splitting pass to finish a three-pass, full-field sequence after Higuain’s feed sliced past three defenders to leave him an open shot on the left side of LA’s box in the 40th.
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 rookie Tommy Meyer cleared the shot off the goal 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.