Major League Soccer‘s week of celebration for soccer came to an end on Wednesday night with the MLS All-Star Game against Atletico de Madrid.
Marcos Llorente‘s goal in the 43rd minute opened the scoring and then Joao Felix and Diego Costa put the game to rest late, handing the Spanish giants a 3-0 victory over the MLS All-Star team in front of 25,527 at Exploria Stadium.
On a night showcasing the best in MLS, the league All-Stars were shutout by Atletico Madrid in the match for the first time since 2011 when Manchester United beat them 4-0 at Red Bull Arena.
The attacking core of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Carlos Vela, and Nani dazzled the crowd with their moves early on, but couldn’t find a way to link up for shots on goal, putting up just one through the first 45 minutes — a Rooney striker from distance that sailed just feet over the crossbar.
With the game muddling through, Madrid finally broke through in the 43rd minute when Rodrigo Riquelme set up Llorente with a cheeky backheel at the top of the box, free in space in the penalty area to beat Andre Blake for the goal.
James O’Connor made wholesale changes for the MLS All-Stars at halftime — including taking off Nani for Diego Rossi — with Atletico’s Diego Simeone doing the same roughly 10 minutes into the second half, bringing on Diego Costa, Joao Felix, Koke, and Kieran Trippier among others.
The game continued its course, with the MLS All-Stars creating a handful more chances in the second half, but ultimately weren’t able to connect on that one final finish to find a goal.
Madrid doubled its lead in the 85th minute, when Felix scored with a spectacular strike to beat Nick Rimando. Diego Costa made it 3-0 in stoppage time.
43′ – Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid)
85′ – Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid)
90′ – Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid)
How the MLS All-Stars lined up
Fan XI: Brad Guzan; Graham Zusi, Kemar Lawrence, Matt hedges, Walker Zimmerman; Diego Chara, Carlos Vela, Alejandro Pozuelo, Wayne Rooney, Nani; Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Bench: Leandro González Pirez, Romain Métanire, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Ezequiel Barco, Pity Martinez, Jonathan dos Santos, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Maxi Moralez, Nicolás Lodeiro, Andre Blake, Paxton Pomykal, Diego Rossi, Josef Martinez, Nick Rimando
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