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Clash in Portland

Bayern fall to MLS All-Stars

FC Bayern tasted defeat for the first time this pre-season in Wednesday evening’s closing leg of the Audi Summer Tour USA 2014, with Pep Guardiola’s men falling 2-1 to the Major League Soccer All-Stars. A 22,000 crowd at Providence Park in Portland saw Robert Lewandowski hand the Bundesliga side an eighth-minute lead, but Bradley Wright-Phillips and former Munich man Landon Donovan scored in the second period to earn Calib Porter’s team a prestige victory in the annual All-Star Game.

For the second match on the Audi Summer Tour, Guardiola initially left out the final World Cup participants who had only rejoined the squad that afternoon. The Spaniard made just one change to the team that beat Chivas Guadalajara in New York five days earlier, with Franck Ribéry gibing way to Xherdan Shaqiri in starting line-up.

All-Stars coach Calib Porter began with his strongest team on paper, including world and European champion Thierry Henry, former Bundesliga pros Michael Bradley, Michael Parkhurst and Obafemi Martins, and five of the USA’s own World Cup players. Former FCB striker and 13-time All-Star Donovan watched the kick-off from the bench.

After a brief period of acclimatisation to the unfamiliar artificial turf surface, Bayern quickly seized the initiative and Lewandowski broke through on seven minutes only for keeper Nick Rimando to save well. However, Bayern’s star summer signing showed no mercy a minute later and left Rimando grasping at air with a firm shot from the edge of the box to hand his side an early lead.

Claudio Pizarro (11) and Sebastian Rode (16) with an acrobatic diving header might have doubled the score in the next phase of play but failed to finish off presentable chances. At the other end, a Henry cross-cum-shot caused a moment’s uncertainty in the FCB defence, and the MLS select XI grew in confidence midway through the second half. However, the only threat to the visitors’ goal came from a Clint Dempsey half-chance after 30 minutes, with the striker testing Munich keeper Tom Starke with a shot from the inside-right channel.

FCB recovered their poise in the quarter-hour running up to the break, but none of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (32), Lewandowski (33), Shaqiri (38, 44) and sub Julian Green (43) was able to force the ball past Rimando. For the home team Henry fired wide after 41 minutes, but Guardiola’s side led by the solitary goal at the interval.

As indicated in the build-up to the match, Porter sent out a completely different team for the second half and the total rotation paid off five minutes after the restart when New York Red Bulls hitman Wright-Phillips levelled it up with a thunderous long-range drive. The MLS team more than held their own now and Donovan ruthlessly accepted the next clear-cut chance to complete the turnaround with 20 minutes remaining.

Guardiola also made a raft of changes in the course of the second half, with Dante, Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm, Jérôme Boateng, Mario Götze, Thomas Müller, Arjen Robben, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Diego Contento all entering the fray. But there were no further goalscoring opportunities of note and the All-Stars ran out 2-1 winners.