Real Madrid was victorious in their first preseason match of the year in an exciting 3-2 win against Mexican giants, Club América.
Last year, Candlestick Park in San Francisco hosted a riveting Barcelona-Chivas Guadalajara match. This year, the venue, once again, failed to disappoint.
Los Blancos made América look silly in the first half and finally broke through with a Sergio Canales goal 11 minutes before half.
After a couple changes were made by José Mourinho at halftime, Madrid did not look as fluid in the second half. Club América took advantage and fired back at the beginning of the second half with an Enrique Esqueda strike. The Eagles continued to attack and took a surprising lead after Vincente Sanchez slotted home a beautiful goal.
Mourinho's second half lineup looked discombobulated at times, and they were punished for that. Behind 2-1, Madrid rebounded and started to connect more passes and look more like Real Madrid from the first half.
Gonzalo Higuaín, who came in for Karim Benzema, responded quickly, as Madrid knotted it up 2-2.
As the second half proceeded, Los Blancos took control of the game and it seemed that a winning goal was inevitable.
A beautiful Madrid build-up that consisted of at least 15 passes led to an elegant Cristiano Ronaldo cross that was put home by Higuaín...but he was offside.
A disputable call made by the referee 10 minutes before full time gave Ronaldo the opportunity to take the lead on a direct free kick.
He took full advantage with a brilliant, powerful shot that swerved, dipped, and fooled the opposing keeper.
It was safe to say that the crowd was more than pleased by the showing put on by the two squads.
But last year at the Rose Bowl, that was not the case.
Mourinho took Italian Giants, Inter Milan FC to Pasadena to face English counterparts, Chelsea FC. Most fans expected a riveting matchup, but it did not come close to that.
"The Special One" certainly did not care much about the preseason match and that attitude was reflected on the pitch by the lethargic Inter Milan players. Chelsea owned the match, while Inter Milan almost never threatened.
Thankfully, Mourinho's attitude changed and his 4-5-1 system that resulted in Barcelona-esque touches throughout the midfield makes for a promising season for Real Madrid.
Despite Barcelona FC's additions, a Real Madrid squad with Xabi Alonso, Casillas, Sergio Ramos, possibly Maicon and Mourinho at the helm would look like a team that could even beat the reigning Spanish champions.
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