Mon, Aug 14, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Ruud van Nistelrooy impresses as Madrid triumph in clash of the Reals


Ruud van Nistelrooy scored on a penalty kick and set up another goal in the second half on Saturday as Real Madrid beat US namesake Real Salt Lake 2-0 in a friendly match.

Salt Lake managed to hold Madrid scoreless for the first 45 minutes before the Spanish superpower took control of the game.

Robhino also scored for Madrid off a touch pass from van Nistelrooy, the latest All-Star to join Los Galacticos. The big Dutchman transferred from Manchester United last month and showed he will fit in just fine in the Spanish capital.

Madrid concluded a two-game US preseason tour, which also included a 1-1 draw against D.C. United on Wednesday in Seattle.

Real Salt Lake had been wanting to get Madrid to the US ever since naming the Major League Soccer expansion club after the European superstars two years ago.

The so-called ``friendly'' got a little nasty at times on Saturday, with plenty of collisions and jersey tugging and a red card issued to Salt Lake's Atiba Harris in the 58th minute. Harris was ejected for taking out Sergio Ramos by sliding into the Spanish defender with his cleats high.

There was a little jostling after the play as Ramos stayed down, but tempers cooled before Harris was led off the field and the game resumed. About seven minutes later, Robhino took a pass from van Nistelrooy and easily knocked it passed Salt Lake goalkeeper Jay Nolly.

Nolly had just saved a point-blank shot from Robinho after a dazzling run from the center of the pitch, in which the Brazilian dummied Salt Lake's Kevin Novak several times.

Madrid's David Beckham, the biggest draw of the week to events open to fans, didn't play until the second half, and the pace of camera flashes picked up noticeably. Beckham had a free kick in the 86th minute which cannoned off Salt Lake's defensive wall.

Nolly, a halftime substitution for Scott Garlick, bundled over one of his team-mates while going for the loose ball as the Salt Lake club started to look outclassed.

Garlick had saved four of the five shots he faced in the first half, but guessed wrong on the penalty kick by van Nistelrooy in the 45th minute.

Salt Lake's Willis Forko was called for tackling Antonio Cassano from behind, and Madrid was awarded a penalty kick. Van Nistelrooy took the shot and poked the ball passed Garlick, who dived to his right as the ball went to his left.

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