The Major League Soccer All-Stars team once again lost to their visiting European opposition in shape of Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night, a 1st half goal from Man-of-the-Match Marcos Llorente and a further 2 in the closing stages of the 2nd half from Atletico’s newly acquired teenage sensation Joao Felix and Diego Costa condemned the All-stars to a 0-3 defeat, their 4th consecutive losses at the annual one-match showpiece, having lost the last 3 edition, starting with last year’s penalty shootout loss to Italian giants Juventus after playing out a 1 all draw in regulation time. Similar to last year’s defeat was another shootout loss to Real Madrid in 2017 after another 1 all scoreline in regulation time. Then, there was a 1-2 loss to English premier league side Arsenal in 2016.
With the likes of MLS leading scorer Los Angeles FC Carlos Vela, top performers like DC United’s Wayne Rooney, Luiz Nani of Orlando City SC and of course LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the starting lineup, the All-Star slightly dominated their opposite team but couldn’t break down the Spaniards, they were limited to just 2 shots on target by one of Europe’s meanest defence, not even Barcelona, Manchester City or Juventus could boast of many scoring chances against Atletico Madrid defence.
MLS All-Stars’ 1st shot on target came in the 26th minute off the boot of former England international Rooney, who was deployed in the midfield by All-Stars’ coach James O’Connor of the Orlando City SC, Rooney’s effort was tipped over the bar by Atletico’s goalie Antonio Adan, however, it was officially not counted as the referee gave a goal kick instead. All-Stars, having gone down 0 -1 eventually had an attempt on goal in the 55th minute when Seattle Sounders and Uruguayan Nicolas Lodeiro drew a fine save from Atletico’s Adan. They got their 2nd and last shot on target in the 80th minute by Atlanta United and Argentine Ezequiel Barco but was safely dealt with by Atletico’s substitute goalkeeper Jan Oblak. 2 late goals, firstly, a long-range effort from Felix in the 85th minute and a close 6-yard goal by Costa finished off the All-Stars. Atletico Madrid’s superior attacking threat was the difference on the night as shown by the stats.
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And so, the 18th edition of the annual MLS All-Stars matchups against International Clubs, the 15th against European oppositions ended in defeat, All-Stars’ 4th defeats in a row, with their last victory coming in the 2015 victory over the English side Tottenham Hotspurs(Kaka and David Villa on the scoresheet for the All-Stars). It was a victory that came off a remarkable come-from-behind 2014 2-1 triumph over German’s Bayern Munich(Bradley Wright-Phillips and Landon Donovan canceling Robert Lewandowski’s opener). The head-to-head against European oppositions since 2005 now stands at 7-8 against the MLS All-Stars.
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