America closed out their US friendly tour with their best result, bouncing back to get a 2-2 tie against current champions of Europe Real Madrid. Both America and Real Madrid gave a great performance in the best city in the United States, San Francisco (views of the article don’t represent the views of FMF State of Mind or SB Nation) in front of a large crowd. America played great in the early minutes, where they were the better team and took the lead before Real Madrid did their normal thing, tying the match as well as dominating play. Later on America improved and gave a respectable performance to grab the tie after Real Madrid took the lead. They will now return to Mexico where they will face a tough away match against Leon, while Real Madrid will face Juventus in their final friendly on US soil.
The first half started with Real Madrid coming out with the big guns up top, including Karim Benzema. America meanwhile made some moves including having starters like Diego Valdes and Alvaro Fidalgo on the bench. After a couple of early minutes of America playing well, Miguel Layun would get off a bad shot but that fell right into the path of Henry Martin, who then got off a close range right footed shot past Real Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin for the 1-0 lead. Later Alejandro Zendejas would get a shot from outside the area that would go wide. After a great start, America started to lose possession as Real Madrid gained it. After a good combination play from Madrid, Karim Benzema got off a great right footed shot past America goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, who should have done better on it for the 1-1 equalizer. Once again in the 30th minute, Guillermo Ochoa was subbed out for Oscar Jimenez in a puzzling move. A free kick from Layun forced Lunin to make a save. Real Madrid had a good opportunity after America lost the ball, but Emilio Lara made a great slide tackle to clear the ball off Vinicius’ feet. Benzema got off a great shot from outside the area that went just inches wide. Off of a corner kick, Antonio Rudiger was able to get off a close range header that went wide. After a foul there was a small scuffle between Lucas Vazquez and Federico Viñas. The halftime whistle blew, and America and Real Madrid went into the lockers tied after an early first half that was better for the Liga MX side before the Champions League champions ended by dominating it.
The second half had a number of changes as Real Madrid subbed out Karim Benzema, Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Vinicius, Luka Modric, Marco Asensio, Nacho, and Ferland Mendy for Rodrygo, Dani Ceballos, Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga, Federico Valverde, Eden Hazard, Eder Militao, and David Alaba. Mauricio Reyes knocked down Vazquez in the area and penalty kick was given. Eden Hazard hit a right footed penalty past Jimenez for the 2-1 lead. The goal and the new subs’ spirited play had Real Madrid dominating the second half, as America looked overwhelmed. America subbed out Federico Viñas, Emilio Lara, Henry Martin, Jorge Sanchez, Pedro Aquino, Alejandro Zendejas, and Jonathan Dos Santos for Roman Martinez, Diego Valdes, Jonathan Rodriguez, Jurgen Damm, Bruno Valdez, Richard Sanchez, and Alvaro Fidalgo. Real Madrid meanwhile subbed out Antonio Rudiger for Jesus Vallejo. From outside the area, Valdes got off a shot from outside the area that went just wide. Real Madrid responded with a shot from Vallejo that Jimenez blocked. Real Madrid then subbed out Lucas Vazquez for Vinicius Tobias. A shot from outside the area by Tchouameni forced Jimenez to make a good save. After a pass into the area, Rodrygo had a good chance but he completely missed the ball when trying to strike it. Fidalgo then got into the area and was brought down by Tobias, and a penalty was given. Fidalgo took the shot from the spot and it was blocked by Lunin, but the referee ruled that he had gone way off of the line and it was correctly repeated. Alvaro Fidalgo stepped up to take the penalty again, and this time his right footed shot went past Lunin (who came very close to stopping it again) for the 2-2 equalizer. Real Madrid came close to scoring when a shot from Ceballos was blocked by America’s defense. Alaba then got off a shot from inside the area and Jimenez made another great save that ended up being key, as the referee blew the whistle after a minute, incredibly not giving any extra time. America wound up getting a valuable tie against the Champions League current champions.
It was a great result for America, who overall showed good things in all of their friendlies against top competition. Of course being that their opponents are in preseason and that club friendlies have a lot less value than any normal match, you can’t really give a long term or very specific conclusion out of it, yet America played well enough to not be overmatched in any game and got a tie against the current UEFA Champions League Champions, a team where even the bench players would be starters in every Liga MX team. Real Madrid will keep moving on and close out their US campaign with a match against Juventus before returning to Europe to play in the Super Cup against UEFA Cup winners Eintracht Frankfurt. America will hope to replicate their play in friendlies in the United States in league competition in Mexico, where so far they haven’t, when they face Club Leon away in a tough matchup where they need to start getting results soon.