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Real Madrid beats Juventus in front of 93,702 at Rose Bowl – Orange County Register

Real Madrid beats Juventus in front of 93,702 at Rose Bowl – Orange County Register


PASADENA — Making final preparations for the upcoming European season, a pair of the continent’s iconic clubs, Real Madrid and Juventus, delivered the largest attendance for a soccer match in the U.S. this year.

The Soccer Champions Tour — a four-city, five-match series of exhibitions over a nine-day stretch — concluded Saturday night at the Rose Bowl as a crowd of 93,702, the most to take in a club soccer match in L.A. history, produced a white-out in the stands as fans on both sides represented their club’s respective home jerseys.

Fielding strong starting lineups on both sides, Real Madrid easily dismissed the Italian competition, 2-0, ending their American experience with a 1-1-1 record.

A “friendly” El Clasico against Barcelona at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas marked Real Madrid’s first appearance with a 1-0 defeat. The European champions then earned a 2-2 draw against Liga MX’s Club America in their next match.

“All the stadiums were full,” said Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti. “A lot of happiness. We are really happy.”

Europe’s most successful club resumes competitive action with the UEFA Super Cup on Aug. 10 in Helsinki, Finland, versus Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt. Real Madrid’s La Liga opener comes four days later.

The current UEFA Champions League winners jumped ahead of Juventus in the opening 20 minutes when French striker Karim Benzema snapped a hard strike from the penalty spot past backup goalkeeper Perin Mattia.

The opportunity came after a giveaway by Juventus and a sloppy missed clearance allowed speedy Brazilian forward Vinicius Junior to run free into the box, where he was hacked to the ground by his countryman, Danilo Da Silva.

At the hour mark, following numerous substitutions on both sides, Madrid added to its lead when forward Marco Asensio tapped in a shot that was setup by a series of passes around the Juventus box.

Juventus, looking to rebound off a fourth-place finish in the Italian league last season, plays one more friendly match on Aug. 7 against Atletico Madrid at Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv, Israel, before their Serie A schedule begins the following week.

During its three Stateside exhibitions, the Italians defeated Chivas Guadalajara 2-0 in Las Vegas and drew 2-2 against Barcelona on Tuesday at the Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas.

Saturday’s match at the Rose Bowl topped an exhibition last weekend in Green Bay, Wisconsin, for the most-attended soccer match in the U.S. in 2022, as Bayern Munich and Manchester City prompted a crowd of 78,128 to fill Lambeau Field as part of the Audi Summer Tour.

In March, an announced crowd of 74,479 at Bank of America Stadium established the top mark when Charlotte FC faced the L.A. Galaxy for its first-ever home date, setting the all-time Major League Soccer regular season attendance record in the process.

The inaugural Soccer Champions Tour, promoted by AEG, yielded an average announced attendance approaching 60,000.

Correction: Bayern Munich played against Manchester City, not Manchester United, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.