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Alaba against the post

Late Real strike consigns Reds to unlucky defeat

FC Bayern rounded off the Audi Summer Tour USA 2016 with a narrow and unlucky 1-0 defeat to Champions League holders Real Madrid in Wednesday night’s Audi Football Summit in New Jersey. A boisterous 82,012 crowd saw Carlo Ancelotti’s men impressively dominate the play for long periods despite the absence of Franck Ribery with a minor knock but concede a decisive late goal, Danilo’s strike 11 minutes from time proving the match-winning effort.

The Bundesliga champions were the better of the two European giants on the night and clearly held the upper hand, especially in the first half. Bayern’s first two openings resulted from set plays: David Alaba’s 10th-minute free-kick whistled just wide of the right-hand upright, and the Austria international’s second and similar effort 16 minutes later came even closer, only to smack against the post and away to safety. Julian Green was unlucky in the 28th minute when the ball took a wicked bobble with the striker in a good position just yards from goal, before Thiago was denied by Real keeper Casilla six minutes later after the midfielder’s mazy dribble. The men from Madrid created very few chances except for  only a 40th minute effort from James.

Real boss Zinédine Zidane withdrew Luka Modric, James and Varane at the interval, and the Champions League holders looked much livelier in the second half. Prodigal son Alvaro Morata curled a shot just wide in the 59th minute, before Isco hit the woodwork three minutes later. However, the Bavarians weathered the brief storm and Alaba came close in the 68th minute.

Just as a penalty shootout seemed the likeliest outcome, Real conjured up a 79th-minute winner when Danilo’s swerving drive evaded birthday boy and FCB backup keeper Sven Ulreich’s grasp. FCB poured forward in search of an equaliser with Thiago almost immediately cancelling out the opener from a free-kick, but there was no way through and Ulreich prevented Real making it two on the break with a fine save at the death.