Sunday, August 4, 2013

Everton 1-2 Real Madrid: Ronaldo and Ozil on target as Madrid moves to final

Cristiano Ronaldo has inspired Real Madrid to a 2-1 win over Everton to reach the International Champions Cup final.
Ronaldo scored Real's first goal in the 17th minute and set up Mesut Ozil for the second just after the half-hour mark as Carlo Ancelotti's team dominated Everton in the first half.

Roberto Martinez's Everton side came back into the match after the break and deservedly got on the score sheet in the 61st minute through substitute Nikica Jelavic but the men in blue could not manage an
equalizer at Dodger Stadium on Saturday.

The win takes Real into the final of the preseason tournament on Wednesday, where the club will face the winner of AC Milan and Chelsea.

Real looked the better side in the opening 15 minutes but struggled to beat Everton's offside trap, until a 
 misplaced pass from Seamus Coleman sparked one of the Spanish side's famously brutal counterattacks.

Ozil released Ronaldo in behind Sylvain Distin and the Portuguese forward took a touch around Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard and slid the ball home from a tight angle.
Most of Everton's early attacks came down the right side and in the 23rd minute it was the same story as Kevin Mirallas sparked one of the more controversial moments of the match.

The Belgian winger went past one Real player before he was tripped on the edge of the area by Sami Khedira.

While the German midfielder was inside the box when he made the tackle, his boot appeared to make contact with Mirallas just outside and the referee whistled for a free kick instead of a penalty.

Just two minutes later and Everton's Marouane Fellaini headed a corner onto the post, while on the half-hour mark Distin's header hit the back of the net but the goal was disallowed for a foul on Khedira.

Real immediately took advantage of that decision as Ronaldo teed up Ozil to make it 2-0 after a brilliant chipped pass over the top from Luka Modric.

The La Liga club held on to the 2-0 lead until halftime but seven minutes after the break Everton almost got on the scoreboard when Mirallas, who was arguably Martinez's best player, found Jelavic in the box but the Croatian striker's  flick did not have enough power to beat Real goalkeeper Diego Lopez.

Jelavic, who came on for Arouna Kone, was causing Real's defense some trouble and just after the hour mark he made it 2-1.

A move down the right wing saw Coleman overlap and cross to Steven Naismith at the back post, where he headed the ball down for Jelavic to score with his first touch.

Everton's goal seemed to spark Real with Daniel Carvajal and Jese Rodriguez forcing Howard into smart saves.

Martinez's team almost equalized with 12 minutes remaining but Phil Jagielka's diving header from Leighton Baines' free kick looped over the bar and Real held on for victory.