Juventus brought down the curtain on this summer’s Asia-Pacific tour with an impressive five-goal showing against a Singapore Select at the National Stadium this evening.
The intense training regime observed over the course of two weeks in Indonesia, Australia and Singapore appears to have paid dividends as an energetic Bianconeri inaugurated the new National Stadium with a stylish performance.
Andrea Pirlo had the honour of scoring the first goal in the new National Stadium courtesy of a free-kick straight from his expansive repertoire, before doubling both his personal tally and Juve’s lead from the spot ahead of the break.
Paul Pogba then joined the party when he found the bottom corner with a neat sidefooted effort just two minutes into the second-half, with a fine Sebastian Giovinco volley and Kwadwo Asamoah strike completing a five-goal haul.
The Bianconeri, lining up in a 4-3-3 with Giovinco and Roberto Pereyra either side of Fernando Llorente in an attacking trident, began with plenty of intent and drew goalkeeper Hasan Sunny into immediate action through a Pogba header that was tipped on to the bar after just four minutes.
It looked set to be a busy night for the shotstopper whose services were again called upon moments later when he beat Giovinco’s low drive away from immediate danger before tipping Pirlo’s dipping strike around the post for a corner.
There was to be no sparing him second time around though, as Pirlo picked out the bottom corner from a trademark free-kick to put the Bianconeri in front on 17 minutes.
The one-way traffic continued throughout a first period in which Giovinco proved a constant thorn in the Singapore defence, going close with a strike from the edge of the area that flashed past the post.
Two minutes before half-time, the Bianconeri doubled their lead. After capitalising on a moment’s hesitation in the hosts’ rearguard, Pereyra found his burst in the box halted by Hamzah. And when Taqi pointed to the spot, Pirlo made no mistake, finding the same corner with a cleanly dispatched spot-kick.
Within three minutes of the restart, Juventus, featuring four changes from the first-half, stretched their lead when Paul Pogba drove into the area and sidefooted beyond the outstretched fingertips of Hasan Sunny into the far corner.
As the visitors upped the pressure, the local public were soon on their feet to acclaim a magnificent save from the goalkeeper as he thwarted Pereyra’s header from point-blank range.
But there was little he could do from the resulting corner, Giovinco blasting Pirlo’s pinpoint delivery home from the edge of the area with a perfectly executed volley on 53 minutes.
As expected, Massimiliano Allegri took the opportunity to rotate his squad and a substitute introduced midway through the second half, Asamoah, added his name to the scoresheet from close range on 72 minutes.
After further chances came and went for the Bianconeri to stretch their lead, an enjoyable evening’s entertainment drew to a conclusion with both teams receiving and reciprocating generous applause from enthusiastic supporters inside the stadium.
Allegri’s men will now head back to Italy for the resumption of pre-season preparations on home soil, with Wednesday’s traditional in-house friendly against the Primavera in Villar Perosa next on the agenda.
Juventus: Buffon (Storari 45), Lichtsteiner (Marrone 53), Bonucci (Caceres 45), Ogbonna (Chiellini 45), Evra (Asamoah 45), Pogba (Blanco 81), Pirlo (Motta 59), Vitale (Marchisio 45), Pereyra (Buenacasa 74), Giovinco, Llorente (Pepe 59).