Mon, July 18, 2011
Sports > Soccer

Ronaldo scores as Real Madrid beats Galaxy 4-1

2011-07-17 16:39:34 GMT2011-07-18 00:39:34(Beijing Time)

Real Madrid's Joselu (2nd L) watches as he scores a goal past Los Angeles Galaxy's David Beckham (L) and goalkeeper Josh Saunders (R) during the first half of their World Football Challenge soccer match in Los Angeles, the US, July 16, 2011. (REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

LOS ANGELES — There wasn't much for Cristiano Ronaldo to complain about in his team's first match following the offseason.

Ronaldo scored a signature goal and Real Madrid displayed its deft scoring ability to beat the Los Angeles Galaxy 4-1 in an exhibition on Saturday night.

Jose Callejon and Joselu scored 8 minutes apart in the first half and Karim Benzema converted a header in the 57th minute as the Spanish giants showed little rust in their preseason opener.

"We won, that is most important," Ronaldo said. "We want to keep on training hard to start well this season."

Ronaldo, who set La Liga's scoring record with 40 goals last season, entered as a halftime substitute. The Portuguese star used multiple step-over's to fake out three defenders, then fired a sharp shot with his left foot that found its way inside the near post.

"He's one of the best players in the world, and clearly he showed why," Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan said. "He is not at top form quite yet, but you can still see that he has moments of brilliance that aren't really teachable."

Madrid has spent the week training at the campus of UCLA in preparations of its second campaign under manager Jose Mourinho. Much like its season-ending 8-1 triumph over Almeria on May 21, the club appeared in fine shape.

Mourinho chose to go with a younger, inexperienced lineup to start the game, keeping mainstays Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso, Raul Albiol and Benzema on the bench. Mourinho brought in massive changes at halftime, subbing in nine fresh players.

Ronaldo made it 3-0 just 7 minutes after halftime and Benzema finished a cross from Fabio, using his head following a sprint toward the goal.

Adam Cristman got one back and scored the Galaxy's lone goal, redirecting Antonio Adan's save with a header into the net. That would be all they could muster against a strong back line.

"At the end of the day, that's a team worth hundreds of millions of dollars versus a team that's worth maybe 10 (million) at the most," Donovan said. "So we have to keep that in perspective. We enjoyed it, and we still got a lot out of it."

David Beckham wore the captain's band for the Galaxy against his former team but failed to make an impact before being removed for a substitute in the 61st minute. Beckham spent four seasons with Madrid, leaving in 2007 after helping the club win its last Spanish title.

The English midfielder didn't convert the few set-piece chances he had, but was involved in a goal when a ball sailed between his legs during Madrid's second tally.

Beckham came off the field to heavy cheers and shared a hug with Mourinho on the sidelines. Beckham said earlier in the week that it would be a "dream" to play for the respected manager.

Attendance for the match at the Los Angeles Coliseum was announced at 56,211, far under the football stadium's capacity. Large sections of seats were left unoccupied. Traffic concerns likely contributed to the low numbers, with the partial closure of nearby Interstate 405 leading to what was dubbed "Carmageddon."

A scoreless opening 30 minutes gave way to a pair of goals in quick succession.

Fabio Coentrao started a sequence in the 31st with a short pass to Kaka. The former FIFA player of the year sent the ball across the pitch and over the Galaxy defense to a streaking Callejon, who took a few touches before burying the ball in the lower left corner, drawing cheers from the heavy contingent of Real Madrid supporters.

Madrid caught the Galaxy with its guard down minutes later. Joselu possessed the ball in the box and shot it low through Beckham's legs. Goalkeeper Josh Saunders appeared to be expecting a cross instead and looked to his left as the ball rolled past.

Real Madrid, which opens its season at home against Athletic Bilbao on Aug. 20 or 21, will play two more matches on its tour through America.

"We are happy," Ronaldo said. "But we are still in training to play well in the games."



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