28 July 2018
In the second match of the 2018 Juventus Summer Tour powered by Jeep, Juventus fought back from a goal down to secure a penalty kick shootout win over Benfica after a 1-1 draw at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
Played in a stifling afternoon heat, both teams struggled to find their form early on but in the tenth minute, Juventus came close to opening the scoring. A wonderful through-ball found João Cancelo down the right side with his cross meeting the foot of Claudio Marchisio at the top of the box. The Juve midfielder’s toe-poked effort would flash over the bar.
Through the rest of the first half, neither side was able to craft a solid scoring opportunity, but things picked up in the second half as Juve stepped on the gas.
Moved up to a more attacking role down the wing, Cancelo nearly opened the scoring on a couple of occasions but was denied by Benfica goalkeeper Odisseas Vlachodimos. Juve’s best chance of the match came in the 54th minute as Sami Khedira was played in on goal after a nifty one-two, but the German’s chipped effort was again denied by Vlachodimos.
In the 65th minute, the deadlock was broken as Spanish defender Alex Grimaldo stepped up to a free kick from 25 yards out and looped a stunning effort past Mattia Perin to put the Portugese side up 1-0.
The Bianconeri fought back and nearly equalized in the 76th minute as Luca Clemenza’s free kick found the head of Medhi Benatia, but his smashed effort slammed off the crossbar from 6 yards out.
Clemenza would then prove the hero for the Bianconeri in the 84th minute cutting onto his left foot and curling a stunning effort for the Italy U-20 international off the crossbar and in to equalize for Juventus.
After 90 minutes, with the score tied 1-1, the match went to penalty kicks with Perin saving the fourth effort from Benfica and Alex Sandro slotting home to give the Bianconeri a 4-2 shootout win.
Next up for Juventus, the Bianconeri travel south to Atlanta where Massimiliano Allegri’s side will take on the MLS All-Stars as Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Wednesday, 1 August.