Real Madrid and Galaxy win on day of firsts at Dodger Stadium
Several players for Real Madrid strolled onto the Dodger Stadium grass for pregame warmups Saturday and began taking pictures.
The players turned in slow circles, snapping shots of the grandstands above them and the hillsides beyond the outfield.
Real Madrid might be among the world’s most famous sports teams, but this was a historic day, the first time soccer was played at the iconic 51-year-old ballpark in Chavez Ravine.
With goals by Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil, the Spanish team then defeated Everton of England, 2-1, in a semifinal match of the Guinness International Champions Cup.
The ICC is a tournament featuring the Galaxy of Major League Soccer and seven international teams that’s being held mostly in U.S. cities. All eight teams play throughout the event even if they lose an earlier round.
The Real Madrid-Everton match was the first game of a doubleheader at Dodger Stadium, which drew a crowd of 40,681.
In the second game, goals by Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane led the Galaxy past Juventus of Italy, 3-1. Those two teams had lost in the first round.
Donovan’s goal came in the 60th minute on a pass from Keane, who has been nursing a hip injury and played only in the second half, and Keane’s score came one minute before the end of regulation.
Omar Gonzalez scored the Galaxy’s first goal in the 36th minute. Three minutes later, Alessandro Matri worked around Gonzalez for Juventus’ only goal.
Ronaldo, Real Madrid’s star forward, scored the first goal in Dodger Stadium history in the 17th minute of the opening game to give Real Madrid a 1-0 lead.
Ronaldo took a through ball from Ozil down the right side and, after sidestepping Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard, drilled the ball into the net from a spot where Dodgers right-fielder Yasiel Puig normally roams.
The teammates then switched roles, with Ronaldo setting up Real Madrid’s second goal with a pass to Ozil in the 31st minute that Ozil kicked softly into the net.
Everton scored in the 61st minute when forward Nikica Jelavic kicked the ball with his left foot from the center of the 18-yard-box to the corner of the goal.
Dodger Stadium was altered for soccer by removing the pitcher’s mound and covering the mound area and infield with sod. The field stretched from the third base line to the right-field wall.
“It was a little bit strange not playing in a football stadium, but the atmosphere and the tradition of this stadium is fantastic,” Real Madrid Coach Carlo Ancelotti said.
Everton reached the semifinals by defeating Juventus, 6-5, on penalty kicks after the teams played to a 1-1 tie in regulation last week in San Francisco. Real Madrid earned a semifinal berth with a 3-1 victory over the Galaxy in Glendale, Ariz.
The other semifinal match, AC Milan versus Chelsea, is Sunday as part of a doubleheader at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Valencia and Inter Milan, which also lost earlier in the tournament, play in the other game.
All eight teams conclude the event Tuesday and Wednesday in Miami, with the AC Milan-Chelsea winner facing Real Madrid for the championship.
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