Real Madrid draw 2 – 2 vs Club America (Benzema, Hazard; Martin, Fidalgo). Here’s our immediate reaction. More coverage coming your way on the site.
Real Madrid conclude their second pre-season game of 2022, drawing with Club America in front of a fun crowd at Oracle Park in San Francisco. The atmosphere created by both sets of fans added a nice spark to the game, particularly as the game wore on in the second half and the sun began to set.
Carlo Ancelotti essentially flipped the lineup from El Clasico on Saturday in Las Vegas. Most of the starters from that game started this one on the bench; while Saturday’s bench unit started this one. The team welcomed back Karim Benzema, while Andriy Lunin started in goal.
In both pre-season games, Real Madrid looked a bit better in the second half. Against Barcelona, the introduction of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric helped calm the team down and progress the ball; while against Club America, the youthful spark and dynamism of the young midfielders in the second half changed the energy of the game in Madrid’s favour.
There was definitely still, understandably, pre-season rust. The touches and defensive gambles from Lucas Vazquez and Casemiro stood out in the first half as a weak point. On Club America’s opening goal, Henry Martin got goal-side of Rudiger to put away a chance in Real Madrid’s box:
Undoubtedly though, the story of the first half was Karim Benzema’s moment of magic, where he scored a goal with a beautiful 1-touch curler from outside the box:
The two teams went into the half level at 1 – 1. Ancelotti made six changes at half-time, and the introduction of a new midfield and attack sparked some fresh juice into the team’s build-up and aggressiveness. Eduardo Camavinga led the new team out on the pitch, and was the focal point of Real Madrid’s energy and ball progression. His touches sparked life into the crowd who thoroughly enjoyed his dribbling and passing.
Camavinga’s vertical pass to Eden Hazard fuelled an important sequence in the second half. Hazard received the ball between the lines and played it out wide to Lucas Vazquez. Vazquez was fouled, and Hazard converted the penalty:
While the second half was more entertaining for the fans, we didn’t learn anything new, and this was still just a pre-season friendly.
Former Real Madrid player Alvaro Fidalgo, who came off the bench for Club America in the second half, scored the equalizer from the penalty spot. Vinicius Tobias fouled Fidalgo in the box. Lunin initially saved Figaldo’s penalty and subsequent rebound, but given that he was way off his line, the referee ordered the penalty to be retaken. Fidalgo converted on the second try:
Next up: The third and final pre-season game, vs Juventus in Los Angeles.