23.07.2016 13:17 - in: Tour - Field S

    Melbourne prevail in penalty shootout

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    Melbourne Victory seal an opening win in this year’s International Champions Cup after triumphing on penalties

    Melbourne Victory sealed an opening win in this year’s International Champions Cup courtesy of a 4-3 penalty shootout triumph over Juventus on Saturday.

    Carlos Blanco Moreno’s stunning strike from just in front of the halfway line had put the Bianconeri in front just before the hour-mark, but Jai Ingham’s equaliser with seven minutes of regulation time remaining meant the match would be decided by spot-kicks.

    Juventus began the friendly encounter brightly and came close to opening the scoring within seven minutes when Alberto Cerri struck narrowly over the crossbar.

    Wing-backs Pol Lirola and Alex Sandro were getting forwards well down the flanks, creating danger from open play, but the visitors’ next best chance came from Paulo Dybala’s whipped free-kick, which ended just inches over the top of Melbourne keeper Lawrence Thomas’ net.

    By this point, Massimiliano Allegri’s men were well in the ascendancy and another Dybala free-kick culminated in Daniele Rugani hitting the post on the half hour with Thomas beaten. The stopper would go on to block another Cerri effort shortly afterwards.

    Having weathered this sustained Bianconeri pressure, Melbourne would end the half strongly and very nearly edged in front when Besart Berisha’s bullet header from point-blank range forced a fine reflex save out of Neto.

    With the game goalless at half-time, Allegri made eight changes to the line-up, and, in the 58th minute, he was rewarded for his decision when defensive substitute Carlos Blanco Moreno caught the keeper off his line to put his side ahead with a wonder strike from just in front of the halfway line.

    The visitors, however, were unable to hold on to their slender lead for the remainder of the second period, as Melbourne midfielder Ingham slid home accurately into the bottom corner in the 83rd minute, thus taking the game to penalties.

    Allegri and company will hope for better fortune when his charges take on Tottenham Hotspur in their second International Champions Cup fixture next Tuesday, which kicks off at 20.00 AEST (12.00 CEST).


    Neto (Audero 65); Rugani (Parodi 45), Marrone, Severin (Blanco Moreno 45); Lirola, Lemina (Macek 45), Hernanes (Vitale 45), Asamoah (Kastanos 45), Alex Sandro (Coccolo 45); Dybala (Padovan 45), Cerri (Rosseti 45)

    Unused substitutes: Loria, Del Favero, Pereyra, Pjanic, Benatia

    Manager: Allegri

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