Real Madrid 3, L.A. Galaxy 1: Ronaldo puts on show in win

2013-08-02T00:00:00Z Real Madrid 3, L.A. Galaxy 1: Ronaldo puts on show in winDave Ord Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
August 02, 2013 12:00 am  • 

GLENDALE - Cristiano Ronaldo pleased the 38,922 fans with dynamic dribbling in the first half, Karim Benzema satiated them with two goals in the second half, and Real Madrid came away with a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy on Thursday night.

The richest club in the world gave the folks at University of Phoenix Stadium their money's worth - even if that amount was $70 for the cheapest seat.

"It was a good game. We had a good combination up front. We had a lot of opportunities," Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said. "I am satisfied. I am happy."

So were many of the fans eager to see Ronaldo strut his stuff.

Throughout the first half, the Portuguese star made Galaxy right back Sean Franklin's life a 103- degree hell even though he was inside the air-conditioned stadium.

When he wasn't creating havoc as well as goal opportunities for himself and his teammates, he was swatting in disgust at offside calls like they were pesky mosquitoes that came in with the late Thursday afternoon storm.

"He needs to play the position he wants," Ancelotti said of Ronaldo playing a wider role. "I'm not looking to change where he's comfortable. He's the one who has to decide where he wants to play."

Ronaldo helped Los Blancos get on the board early. Real Madrid netted the opener in the 15th minute when Isco's perfectly floated diagonal ball from near midfield found Ronaldo around the penalty box. He held it up for a moment and then squared it to Angel Di Maria who easily beat goalkeeper Brian Rowe to make it 1-0.

In the first half, Los Angeles didn't exploit the few chances it had.

And Real Madrid made the Galaxy pay again early in the second half. The lead was doubled in the 51st minute when halftime substitute Karim Benzema gathered in another brilliant, long diagonal pass from Isco, one-touched it forward and then fired a shot that beat Rowe.

Forward Jose Villarreal pulled Los Angeles within a goal when he netted a goal that was world-caliber in the the 63rd minute. Villarreal controlled a high-arcing ball, made two touches to his left and then fired the ball into the net.

Benzema regained the two-goal lead in the 74th when the Frenchman had plenty of room and time to head down a cross from Argentina's Angel di Maria that bounced into the net.

Real Madrid will play Everton on Saturday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles in a Guinness International Champions Cup semifinal at 7:30 p.m. The Galaxy will face Juventus in a 5 p.m. consolation match before the semifinal.

Stoppage time

• Los Angeles midfielder Pablo Mastroeni, who came on as a substitute at halftime, played for the Tucson Amigos in the mid-1990s. He was traded to the Galaxy from Colorado in June.

• Before the match, a moment of silence was held for the 19 firefighters who died in the Yarnell Hill fire June 30.

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