The Wednesday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium was different than regular nights and saw one of the most entertaining battles of the season. The battle between one of the most decorated Italian clubs, Juventus and MLS, gave fans the much-needed chills. After finishing the game on 1-1 in regulation in front of crazy football fanatics, Juventus defeated MLS All-Stars in 5-3 penalty shootouts.
The much-hyped game didn’t disappoint the fans as All-stars put up a great show in front of a standalone record 72,317 crowd at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
MLS’ stars started on a high note and played extremely well in the opening minutes with two early saves from Brad Guzan but Juventus’ Andrea Favilli put the club ahead in the 21st minute. He headed in Matheus Pereira’s terrific curling cross.
Breaking the pressure Atlanta’s own boy Josef Martinez headed a back post cross across the box with Carlos Vela’s shot forcing a save from Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. This is exactly what the home fans were looking for in Atlanta. Ignacio Piatti then tried to head the ball in from an impossible angle, and Martinez followed up on that chance to knock the ball in the goal. The MLS All-Stars tied up the game in the 26th minute.
The MLS All-Stars had a counterattack in the 39th minute, with Sebastian Giovinco sending over a cross to Ezequiel Barco, but the Argentine’s volley was saved by Szczesny.
Shortly after the halftime break, Alberth Elis forced a save from Juventus GK Mattia Perin, and as the second half wore on Juve forward Luca Clemenza forced a stop from MLS All-Stars goalkeeper Zack Steffen.
Diego Valeri had a late chance, with a last-gasp clearance by Medhi Benatia blocking the goal-bound shot in the 82nd minute. Darwin Quintero then attempted what is quickly becoming a trademark chip, but Perin was up to the task.
21′ – JUV – Andrea Favilli
26′ – All-Stars – Josef Martinez
Martinez received the Man of the Match award as well as awarded as the MVP of the game for his efforts.