Friday, July 29, 2011

World Football Challenge in Raleigh, NC

Rob Kinnan Photography
Juventus 1, Chivas de Guadalajara

Two of the most well known teams from around the world arrived in Raleigh, North Carolina to do battle as part of the Herbalife World Football Challenge. Juventus FC arrived to represent the Italian Seria ‘A’ while Mexican powerhouse Chivas de Guadalajara arrived to represent the FMF Primera Division. As it was in our own back yard, MLS Reserves was in attendance to take the game in. 

Juventus jumped in front in the 12th minute on an opportunistic goal from Fabio Quagliarella. The goal came against the run of play but was a well placed strike from near the eighteen to beat the keeper. From there it was Chivas who pressed and pressed hard. Chivas forward Alberto Medina found himself in on a cheeky chip but the Juventus goalkeeper spoiled the chance by being aggressive off of his line.

Juventus spent much of the game on defense while Chivas pressed the matter. It was a textbook case of Mexican attacking prowess against Italian defensive organization. Posession was 58% in favor of Chivas and 42% in favor of Juventus.

Rob Kinnan Photography
Still, Juventus was not without their chances. In the second half Cristian Pasquato ripped a shot from distance but it did not find its way to the back of the net. Pasquaot’s confidence was likely high after scoring a brilliant strike in the Juventus victory over Club America two days ago.

In the second half, Chivas de Guadalajara made use of his substitutions and placed his 2011 U-17 World Cup winners into the game. It was the professional debut of all four and they certainly provided excitement that the match had been lacking up until that point. The quartet provided slanting passes and slashing runs which looked to expose the Juventus defense. It certainly made the final minutes of the match more exciting.

Juventus made use of their star power as Alessandro Del Piero made an appearance in the second half while world famous names like Luca Toni and Andrea Pirlo were also on hand.

In the end though, the score remained 1-0 in favor of Juventus and the majority of the 16, 124 left disappointed. The crowd was loud, boisterous and mostly Chivas supporters. They witnessed their team control possession and dominant in nearly every statistical category except one: the score.

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