Real Madrid 3 – America 2

5 08 2010

UPDATE: KAKA OUT FOR A BIT
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I know I talked a little sh*t about Kaka not being at the game last night, but it appears that it’s for good reason. This tidbit just came through the wire here at the Journal. I’m hoping I have time to blog a bit about some other stuff, but I probably won’t have it. Darn.

Kaka out for 3-4 months after knee operation
MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid playmaker Kaka has undergone knee surgery and will miss three to four months.
The Spanish club said Friday that Kaka left the team’s camp in Los Angeles to have the operation on his meniscus in Antwerp, Belgium.
Madrid coach Jose Mourinho said “if we lose him for some time it’s no drama, we have other players, but he’s one of the best in the world.”
The team said a routine medical exam performed on Kaka after the Brazil international returned from vacation revealed a problem with his left knee.

UPDATE: GAME STORY IS BELOW, under the press conference video
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I’ll post my game story tomorrow morning but for tonight, Here’s some video from the press conference following Real Madrid’s 3-2 over Club America.
By the way, Jose Mourinho is a savage. I love that guy. OK, story to come.

JOSE MOURINHO

MANUEL LAPUENTE

UPDATE: Here’s the story I filed last night —

By Julio Lara
Daily Journal Staff

With a second half that saw its fair share of goals, the game marketed as a battle of international titans lived up to its billing.

Real Madrid of Spain and Club America of Mexico met Wednesday night in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, bringing out Bay Area football fans wanting to catch a glimpse of their favorite international stars.

What they got was a decent soccer match, salvaged by a second half that saw four goals and finish in a 3-2 victory for Real Madrid.

It was a pre-season warm-up for the European visitors who start their La Liga schedule at the end of August and an exhibition match for the team to the south who are in the infant stages of their Mexican season.

Karim Benzema came very close to opening the scoring for Real Madrid in the 32nd minute when his header off a corner appeared to be tipped by Ochoa and off the crossbar. They’d strike two minutes later though on a couple of pretty touches from Benzema to Cristiano Ronaldo back to Benzema then to Sergio Canales, who tapped the ball into the net for the easy score.

On the other side, America struggled against a superior Real Madrid squad. They were no threat on the Real goal, accounting for zero shots in the first half.

More than the game itself the story Wednesday seemed to be who wasn’t on the field for Real Madrid. Granted there was still plenty of star power to go around, but the Spanish legends were without several key cogs who were not only not starting, but didn’t make the trip to San Francisco at all.

Among those missing were Spanish team world champion players Iker Casillas (who won the award for best goalkeeper at the 2010 FIFA World Cup) and teammates Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa.

Also absent were Brazilian star Kaka, Dutch midfielder Rafael van der vaart and newly acquired German national team midfielder Sami Khedira — players and names used to advertise and market the game to fans.

At first it appeared that football fans did not take the bait. At game time the stands at Candlestick Park were nowhere near capacity — the north end zone was all but empty and the cheaper seats, in the upper rim of the stadium, were desolate as well. The official attendance announced was 47,338.

The game picked up considerably in the second half.

America scored their first goal in the 54th minute on a great through ball that was tucked away nicely to Real goalkeeper Adan’s far post by Enrique Esqueda for the equalizer.

Las Aguilas then would go on to stun Real on a ball fought for and won by Vicente Sanchez on the right side of the 18. The forward then finished beautifully with his left foot to the keeper’s back post to give his team the surprising 2-1 lead.

Madrid responded almost immediately in the 64th minute. It was then that Ronaldo found Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain who beat the America keeper from inside the 18 to tie things up at two with a nice finish to his near post.

Higuain almost scored again, but an offside call negated a pretty volley in the 76th minute.

But the man everyone came to see, Ronaldo, had the last say in the contest. The forward was fouled in the 80th minute some two yards away from the America 18 and he’d make Las Aguilas pay, scoring on a direct free kick to give Real Madrid the lead. He’d leave to a wave of applause three minutes later.

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