Alonso’s goal lifts Real Madrid over L.A. Galaxy 3-2
Real Madrid pulled off a late rally to complete an undefeated trip through California.
Xabi Alonso scored in the 72nd minute and Real Madrid beat the Los Angeles Galaxy 3-2 victory in an exhibition match Saturday night in front of 89,134 at the Rose Bowl.
Gonzalo Higuain added two goals for Real Madrid.
”For this trip, everything was perfect,” Real coach Jose Mourinho said. ”We trained well. We trained hard. The players were together for 24 hours in a perfect environment for them to grow up as a group.”
Mourinho said he was most pleased with his players’ resilience, especially in the second halves of both games.
”Obviously, I like this mentality of not wanting to lose, of wanting to overcome, a lot,” Mourinho said. ”For me the second half was fantastic in every aspect.”
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said that Mourinho – who guided Inter Milan to the Champions’ League, Italian league and Italian cup titles last season – will make Real formidable.
”They’re one of the best club teams in the world,” Arena said. ”They’re going to going to challenge in Champions’ League and certainly give Barcelona a run for their money in La Liga.”
Todd Dunivant and Landon Donovan scored for the Galaxy, who are winless in six of seven games.
”All in all, I think our team was able to play with a top-notch team like Real Madrid and see what this level can be like,” Galaxy forward Clint Mathis said. ”It was good for our team in a critical portion of our season.”
Sergio Canales began the play that led to the winning goal. Canales’ no-look, back-heel pass freed Higuain for an 8-yard shot that was blocked by goalkeeper Josh Saunders. But the long rebound fell to Alonso, who converted a high 19-yard diagonal shot inside the left post.
The Galaxy built a 2-0 halftime lead before Higuain tied the score with two goals in a 10-minute span.
In the 51st minute, Higuain redirected Cristiano Ronaldo’s left-wing cross from nine yards.
Then in the 61st minute, after Fernando Gago intercepted Tristan Bowen’s clearance, Higuain received Gago’s pass and lofted an 8-yard shot between Dunivant and defender Gregg Berhalter that sailed inside the left post.
Higuain, who led Argentina with four goals during the World Cup, finished Real Madrid’s tour with three goals.
”His pace surprised me,” Arena said. ”He outran a couple of players who could at least run well. He went right by them. I was impressed with him in the World Cup but after watching him tonight, I’m much more impressed.”
Dunivant gave Los Angeles a 1-0 lead in the 40th minute. After the Galaxy’s Omar Gonzalez headed Donovan’s corner kick off the right post, Dunivant poked the deflection of his own blocked shot while lying on his back at the goal line.
Donovan made it 2-0 in the 45th minute with a penalty kick against Polish international goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek. The Galaxy’s Juninho drew the penalty when Royston Ricky Drenthe kicked him in the face.
Iker Casillas, the captain of Spain’s World Cup championship team, replaced Dudek for the second half.
The Galaxy’s Clint Mathis, who announced his retirement on Tuesday, made his final professional start and played 27 minutes. Mathis played 11 years in Major League Soccer and 46 games for the United States, including the 2002 World Cup.
Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira didn’t dress for the game. Khedira, purchased by Real from VfB Stuttgart, started all seven games for Germany in the World Cup.