Real Madrid cruised to a 3-1 victory over the LA Galaxy in the fourth and final opening match of the 2013 Guinness International Champions Cup played in Phoenix, Arizona.
The tandem of Isco, who created Madrid’s first two goals, and substitute Karim Benzema, who bagged a second half brace, proved too much for a reduced Galaxy side that was without Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez.
Within six minutes of the opening whistle Los Blancos‘ quality was on display with Cristiano Ronaldo thumping his header off the bar.
Eleven minutes later and Madrid had their lead. Isco found Ronaldo with a 35 yard ball that drew three Galaxy defenders, only for the winger to one-time a pass to a streaking Angel Di Maria, who cooly finished from 14 yards out.
Madrid continued to impress before the break, enjoying the majority of possession, with Ronaldo and Di Maria linking up frequently while Isco went close four minutes before half-time. The Galaxy had their opportunities as well, with Jose Villarreal’s pressure causing problems and a Juninho free-kick going just wide of the mark.
After the interval Benzema entered for Ronaldo and within six minutes the French international doubled Madrid’s lead, latching on to a fantastic ball that Isco curled in with the outside of his right foot. The 30 yard effort swung directly onto the foot of Benzema, who took one touch to settle and another to dispatch making the score 2-0.
It was always going to be an uphill battle for the Galaxy but the young side pressed forward and were rewarded for their efforts in the 63rd minute when Villarreal took down a failed clearance from 25 yards out, beat two Madrid defenders and ripped a left-footed shot into the far corner.
Los Angeles looked like it might rally but eleven minutes later Di Maria raced down the left side of the pitch and hooked in a perfect cross to Benzema, who headed easily from 6 yards out.
With the win, Madrid move on to the winner’s bracket to face Everton at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, while the Galaxy meet Juventus at the same venue later that day.