Can you hear Juventus sing?


Goalscorer Matri is challenged by Galaxy's Leonardo

Goalscorer Alessandro Matri is challenged by Galaxy’s Leonardo


LA Galaxy 3 : 1 Juventus

In the second match of a double header, the home side LA Galaxy met Italian champions Juventus. Both had lost their opening match of the tournament.

Tonight however belonged to the ‘home’ side whose faithful occupied a good number of the 40,681 inside the stadium.

They took the lead through Omar Gonzalez and saw it canceled out before the interval, however a stellar second half showing allowed them to punce on rare mistakes by Vical and Pirlo, to send their fans home joyous.

Head coach Bruce Arena was not going overboard with the win, possibly Major League Soccer’s finest ever in a friendly:

 “Our team played well tonight,” said head coach Bruce Arena.

“The result isn’t going to change anything in this world. It’s an exhibition. I don’t want to play them when it really counts.”

The Angel City Brigade were having none of that.

“Can you hear Juventus sing?” crowed the Galaxy fans, perhaps this chant’s first ever outing in American supporter culture.

The match began more evenly than it finished.

Alessandro Matri slipped an early chance wide with just the advancing Brian Rowe to beat. Within three minutes of that opening scare, Juve’s defence held firm to a set piece, however the traffic continued to flow towards the Galaxy’s goal and then immediately back again.

It was Robbie Rogers who came closest but the blond forward watched the ball sail agonisingly past the post before, in the next attack, Landon Donovan finally forced Buffon into a save.

From an even start, the Galaxy began to assume a more confident air and began to stroke the ball about with a certain gusto. Buffon was called into action again, this time being forced to spring off his line and use his feet.

After that enterprising start, the game bedded down a little. Juventus were probing but hardly looked dynamic, certainly much less suave than they had in San Francisco against Everton.

Omar Gonzalez opened the scoring for LA GalaxyPhoto: Ali Gilmore

Omar Gonzalez opened the scoring for LA Galaxy
Photo: Ali Gilmore

On 36, Galaxy finally illuminated the night sky.

Omar Gonzalez was the unlikely scorer, loitering with serious intent in the centre forward position. He latched onto a well threaded through ball by Juninho and finished with a calm that belied his defender status.

Within two minutes, he was at the centre of the equaliser.

He never fully dispossessed Fabio Quagliarella, allowing him to turn and shoot.

Brian Rowe palmed it out into the path of Matri, whose shot had just enough to creep under Rowe and over the line.

It was a poor goal to concede and Bruce Arena would have hoped to elicit a little more quality from the Italians to gain a score.

With the clock at just 44.23, referee Toledo puzzlingly blew the half time whistle to a chorus of boos.

Half time substitutions followed. Buffon left for Maro Storari in the Juve goal. Alessandro Pirlo, Andrea Barzagli,  Giorgio Chieliini, Fernando Torres, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Vidal Pardo replaced Luca Marrone, Martin Carceres, Leonardo Bonucci, Quagliarella, Isla Isla and Simone Padoin.

Robbie Keane replaced Villarreal and the Irishman made a quick impact, setting up Rogers who fired over. Rogers was then barged over in the box but the crowd’s penalty shout was refused.

It was moot. On the hour mark, Keane and Donovan combined to put the Galaxy in front. Vidal was being particularly inattentive when he was robbed by a very determined Sarvas facing his own goal. Sarvas fed Keane on his left, whose cross was perfectly set up for Donovan.

A flurry of substitutions followed. Dunivant and Stephens were replaced by Sean Franklin and Gyasi Zardes. Asamoah left for Mirko Vucinic on 69. With ten minutes left, Juninho, Donovan and Rogers left for Garcia, Laurent Courtois and Hector Jimenez

With three remaining, a horrendous backpass by Pirlo found Keane free and loose on goal. The Irishman netted Galaxy’s third to give them a wonderful win, and an embarrassing second loss for Juve.

Arena was playing it down. The fans were living it up.

LA Galaxy: Rowe, Dunivant, Gonzales, Sarvas, Donovan, Juninho, Leonardo, De La Garza, Stephens, Villarreal, Rogers

Juventus: Buffon, Martin, Ogbonna, De Ceglie, Marrone, Loorente, Bonussic, Asamoah, Quagliarella, Isla Isla, Matri, Padoin

Photo: Ali Gilmore

Photo: Ali Gilmore


About Author

Comments are closed.