LANDOVER – Two goals by Spanish midfielder Marco Asensio led European Champions Real Madrid over Italian giants Juventus 2-1 in an International Champions Cup preseason match played in front of 71,597 people at FedExField in Landover on Aug. 4.
Asensio, who played with Spain’s National Team during this year’s FIFA Men’s World Cup, made a quick impact after coming in as a second-half sub. He finished off a Vinicius Junior counterattacking cross two minutes after the period began, giving the Spanish giants 2-1 lead.
After muscling his way past a Juventus defender, Asensio snuck through a last-second shot past a diving Mattia Perin for the game-clinching goal in 55th minute. Head Coach Julen Lopetegui said Asensio, who normally played on the left wing during his time with the club, was moved to the middle behind the target striker and excelled well in the new role.
“To play a position for 45 minutes that is not natural to him, he did it well and was still able to play his game,” Lopetegui said. “We were happy to see the performance he and his teammates did today.”
Juventus, who won their sixth straight Serie A league championship last season, got on the scoresheet first after Real Madrid defender Daniel Carvajal’s attempted block of a cross deflected past goalkeeper Keylor Navas for an own goal. The Turin side struggled to create offense during the friendly match with only two of their 10 shots landing on goal.
Following the own goal, Madrid’s attack began to press forward with French striker Karim Benzema’s hitting a shot off the side netting. Attacker Gareth Bale tied the game for Los Merengues, firing a left-footed volley, spiking the right top corner of the goal from outside the penalty area five minutes before halftime.
The Welsh superstar will be expected to carry the load of the Madrid attack after the departure of midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo. The 33-year old Portuguese superstar was sold to Juventus for about $115 million on July 7 and the Spanish side has yet to make a signing to replace him.
The game was part of the International Champions Cup preseason tournament, where several of Europe top club team are playing games all over the world in preparation of their league seasons.
Real Madrid will play their final preseason game in the United States against Italian side Roma at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Aug. 7. For winning their third straight UEFA Champions League title in May, they will take on Atlético Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup on Aug. 15. Juventus will not play any more matches until their Aug. 18 season opener against Chievo.
Both clubs praised the conditions of the field and the stadium as a whole for the vibrant environment the whole night. Juventus Head Coach Massimiliano Allegri called the Landover stadium a “beautiful stadium and a fantastic place to play (soccer).”
A Washington Redskins official confirmed that both teams were testing the new grass field that was installed after last week’s Beyoncé and Jay-Z concerts. The Redskins will get to test out the new turf during their Aug. 16 preseason game against the New York Jets.
View photos from the game via our gallary: https://thesentinel.smugmug.com/PG/Real-Madrid-vs-Juventus-in-FedEx-Field/