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Aug 1, 2013

Real Madrid, Chelsea advance with wins

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Karim Benzema scored a pair of second-half goals to lead Spanish soccer power Real Madrid to a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer on Thursday night.

The match was the first for both teams in the inaugural Guinness International Champions Cup tournament, which features six other teams from Europe.

The fans in the crowd of 38,922 rose to their feet every time Cristiano Ronaldo touched the ball.

Midfielder Angel Di Maria took a pass from Cristiano Ronaldo, who'd gotten past three defenders, and scored the game's first goal. Di Maria later added an assist.

Real Madrid was too talented for the Galaxy, as Ronaldo had multiple chances to score early in the match. A cross from DiMaria found Ronaldo in the sixth minute, and his shot hit the top of the goal and caromed away.

Ronaldo also had quality chances in the 18th and 22nd minute, Galaxy defender Sean Franklin trying his best to defend Ronaldo from his right back position.

Real Madrid had the vast majority of the scoring chances in the first half. The Galaxy's best opportunity was a near own goal from Real Madrid's Daniel Carvajal in the eighth minute. Galaxy midfielder Hector Jimenez chipped a ball toward the goal that Carvajal almost misplayed with his clearance.

The fans in the crowd of 38,922 rose to their feet every time Ronaldo touched the ball. The Di Maria-Ronaldo connection almost produced another result in the 38th minute, as Ronaldo had plenty of time to settle a pass at his feet, dribble and shoot. But his shot went over the goal.

Ronaldo left the match at halftime, replaced at forward by Benzema. It took the Frenchman only six minutes to score.

Isco looped a pass to Benzema, who was in open space and shot the ball past Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe.

Real Madrid was close to a third goal after some nifty dribbling and fakes from Isco at the top of the penalty area, but his 60th-minute shot was saved.

Jose Villarreal pulled the Galaxy to 2-1 with some skillful work in the 63rd minute. Seconds after Brazilian star Kaka left the match for a substitution, Villarreal took two touches to get some room and fired a shot past Real Madrid keeper Diego Lopez.

Isco was subbed out in the 73rd minute.

Di Maria found Benzema in the 74th minute with a cross over the Galaxy defenders for the final goal of the match.

Chelsea 2, Inter 0

INDIANAPOLIS -- Oscar and Eden Hazard scored first-half goals, leading Chelsea to a 2-0 victory over Inter Milan on Thursday night.

Thorgan Hazard is regularly compared to his well-known brother Eden.
Eden Hazard's penalty gave Chelsea a 2-0 lead Thursday night.

Chelsea, despite not starting four players who played in the Confederation Cup, including Brazil's David Luiz and Spain's Juan Mata, nonetheless at times looked to be in midseason form in the exhibition match before a crowd of 41,983 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The match featured intrigue on the sidelines with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho coaching against his former team for the first time since his two-year stint with Inter Milan from 2008-10.

"Oscar has been with us for five days because of the Confederation Cup," Mourinho said. "We've worked a lot on our movement, and it will help us in difficult situations. It's good to see in matches what I see in training. I want him to be a top player, not just a top talent."

Hugo Campagnaro was sent off for Inter in the 58th minute for a late challenge on John Terry.

"The first half was very good for both sides," Mourinho said. "The red card changed (the game) completely. Not good for them because they played with 10, and not good for us, because we played against 10."

Chelsea dominated nearly from start to finish. Two minutes after Inter's Fredy Guarin almost volleyed in a shot past solid Chelsea keeper Petr Cech, Chelsea went up 1-0 on a goal by Brazilian star Oscar in the 13th minute after he capitalized on teammate Victor Moses' powerful run through the midfield.

The pro-Chelsea crowd roared as Oscar's shot settled into the top right-hand corner of the net after Moses slipped him the ball.

Chelsea then went up 2-0 in the 29th minute on a penalty by Hazard.

Although an exhibition, the inaugural eight-team, 12-game International Champions Cup is being staged to promote some of Europe's best while offering the teams a chance to prepare for their league seasons that begin at the end of the month.

Chelsea next play AC Milan in the semi-finals Sunday at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Inter will play Valencia, a 2-1 loser to AC Milan in its quarterfinal match last weekend, in the tournament's consolation semifinal earlier Sunday at Met Life.

The championship final is Wednesday in Miami.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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