Buoyed by the playmaking of newly acquired Isco and the goal-scoring of French international Karim Benzema, Real Madrid notched a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy in the first of the Spanish-league titan's four preseason games in the United States.
In a first-round match of the International Champions Cup, played Thursday evening in scorching conditions in the Arizona city of Glendale, Real Madrid overcame a shaky start to open the scoring in the 15th minute.
Cristiano Ronaldo received a brilliant pass from Isco and found Argentine Angel Di Maria, who lofted a left-footed strike over Galaxy netminder Brian Rowe.
Benzema then came on at the start of the second half and wasted little time in making an impact, receiving a perfectly placed cross-field pass from Isco and sneaking a strike just inside the far goalpost in the 52nd minute.
The Galaxy, however, managed to get on the scoreboard in minute 63 thanks to a brilliant strike from Jose Villarreal, who fired a left-footed blast from just inside the penalty area that gave goalkeeper Diego Lopez no chance.
Real Madrid was not done scoring, however, with Benzema putting the finishing touches on the victory with a header off a well-placed cross from Di Maria in the 74th minute.
The Spanish club will next take on English side Everton in Los Angeles for a spot in the final of the International Champions Cup, which will culminate with a the championship match on Aug. 7 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Real Madrid will wrap up its U.S. preseason swing with a friendly against Inter Milan in St. Louis on Aug. 10, a week before its first contest of the 2013-14 La Liga. EFE