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Juventus Top MLS All-Stars 5-3 on Penalties

Serie A champions Juventus got the best of Major League Soccer's All-Stars in a penalty shootout on Wednesday after an entertaining 1-1 draw in the North American league's mid-season exhibition.

AFP

Updated:August 2, 2018, 9:41 AM IST
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Juventus Top MLS All-Stars 5-3 on Penalties
(Reuters)
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Washington: Serie A champions Juventus got the best of Major League Soccer's All-Stars in a penalty shootout on Wednesday after an entertaining 1-1 draw in the North American league's mid-season exhibition.

Before a crowd of 72,317 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium -- home of MLS's Atlanta United -- Juventus prevailed 5-3 in the shoot-out after New York Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips missed his penalty attempt.

After Wright-Phillips' effort bounced off the post to leave Juventus up 4-3 -- Mattia De Sciglio fired into the upper left corner past Columbus goalkeeper Zack Steffen to settle it.

Andrea Favilli had put Juventus ahead in the 21st minute, heading in a curling cross by Matheus Pereira.

The MLS All-Stars, selected from around the league through fan voting, pulled level in the 26th minute through Atlanta United's Josef Martinez -- the Venezuela star and former Torino forward who leads MLS with 24 goals in 23 matches.

Juventus keeper Wojciech Szczesny saved an initial effort, but after a scramble in the area, Martinez bundled the ball in to score in front of his home crowd.

"It's been a moving week here," Martinez said. "I have to thank all the fans in Atlanta for the way they support us all the time and the wonderful experience in this game."

It marked the second straight year that the All-Star Game ended in a 1-1 draw to go to a shoot-out. Last year, Real Madrid beat the All-Stars 4-2 on penalties at Soldier Field in Chicago.

The crowd was the largest ever for the MLS All-Star game, surpassing the 70,728 for the 2010 edition in Houston.

The game was one of four matches for Juventus on their North American tour, but they haven't brought off-season acquisition Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner whose 100 million-euro ($117 million) move from European champions Real Madrid was announced in July.

With three wins from three matches, Juventus will look to make it a clean sweep of the tour on Saturday night against Real Madrid at FedEx Field in Washington, DC.

The All-Stars were without Los Angels Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was voted into the contest against his former club by fans but would have been playing in his third game in seven days.
| Edited by: Baidurjo Bhose
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