Juventus and AC Milan, two of the most successful and popular teams in Italian soccer, faced each other in a friendly match as part of the Soccer Champions Tour 2023 in Los Angeles on Thursday night. The game ended in a 2-2 draw after 90 minutes, with Juventus winning 4-3 on penalties.
A thrilling first half
The game started with a high tempo and intensity, as both teams showed their attacking intent and quality. Juventus took the lead in the 12th minute, when Federico Chiesa scored a stunning volley from outside the box after a cross from Timothy Weah. The U.S. international, who joined Juventus from Lille this summer, was one of the standout performers for the Bianconeri, along with fellow American Weston McKennie.
AC Milan responded quickly and equalized in the 18th minute, when Olivier Giroud headed in a cross from Christian Pulisic. The French striker, who signed for Milan from Chelsea this summer, showed his aerial prowess and clinical finishing. Pulisic, another U.S. star who joined Milan from Chelsea this summer, was also impressive for the Rossoneri, along with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Rafael Leão.
The game continued to be an open and entertaining affair, with both teams creating chances and testing the goalkeepers. In the 38th minute, AC Milan took the lead, when Leão scored a brilliant solo goal after dribbling past three defenders and slotting the ball past Wojciech Szczęsny. The Portuguese winger celebrated his goal by doing a backflip in front of the fans.
Juventus tried to level the score before halftime, but AC Milan’s defense held firm and Mike Maignan made some crucial saves.
A more balanced second half
The second half started with a bang, as Juventus equalized in the 47th minute, when Daniele Rugani scored from a free kick that curled into the top corner. The Italian defender, who returned to Juventus after a loan spell at Cagliari last season, showed his accuracy and technique.
The game became more balanced and cautious in the second half, as both teams made several substitutions and tried to avoid injuries. Juventus had more possession and control, while AC Milan relied on counterattacks and set pieces.
Both teams had some opportunities to win the game in regulation time, but none of them could find the decisive goal. The game went to a penalty shootout to decide the winner.
A dramatic penalty shootout
The penalty shootout was as exciting and tense as the game itself, with both teams missing some of their shots and forcing the shootout into sudden death.
AC Milan went first and scored their first three penalties through Davide Calabria, Jens Petter Hauge and Pierre Kalulu. Juventus also scored their first three penalties through Moise Kean, Alex Sandro and Filip Kostić.
AC Milan missed their fourth penalty, when Lorenzo Colombo’s shot was saved by Szczęsny. Juventus had a chance to win the game, but Maignan denied Nicolò Fagioli’s attempt.
AC Milan scored their fifth penalty through Daniel Maldini, the son of club legend Paolo Maldini. Juventus also scored their fifth penalty through Dejan Kulusevski.
AC Milan missed their sixth penalty, when Charles De Ketelaere’s shot hit the post. Juventus had another chance to win the game, and this time they took it. Matías Soulé scored the winning penalty for Juventus, sending Maignan the wrong way and sparking celebrations among his teammates and fans.
A great spectacle of soccer
The game between Juventus and AC Milan was a great spectacle of soccer for the fans in Los Angeles and around the world. The game had everything: goals, skills, drama, passion and rivalry. Both teams showed their quality and potential for the upcoming season in Serie A and Europe.
The game also featured some of the best players from the U.S., who showcased their talent and made their country proud. Weah, McKennie and Pulisic were among the best players on the pitch, while other Americans like Bryan Reynolds and Gianluca Busio also got some minutes.
The Soccer Champions Tour 2023 is a great opportunity for fans to watch some of the best teams and players in the world in action. The tour will continue with more exciting games in different cities across the U.S., such as Real Madrid vs Barcelona in Miami, Manchester United vs Liverpool in New York, and Bayern Munich vs Paris Saint-Germain in Chicago.