Young Spaniard Carlos Blanco Moreno has produced a moment of magic but it wasn't enough as Melbourne Victory defeated Juventus 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the International Champions Cup at the MCG on Saturday night.
In front of 23,174 fans, both teams weren’t able to control the game as it headed to penalties after full-time.
Victory's impressive 16-year-old Seb Pasquali netted the fifth penalty, before Lawrence Thomas saved Juve's fifth effort from Stefano Padovan to clinch the shootout.
Carl Valeri had the first penalty saved, but at 2-2, Lawrence Thomas thwarted Roman Macek to level matters.
Earlier, Carlos Blanco caught Victory keeper Lawrence Thomas off his line from range with a well-weighted strike on 58 minutes.
However, Jai Ingham levelled on 83 minutes with a low finish after a neat and intricate Victory move.
The first half began evenly with neither team being able to find a breakthrough, Juventus had an opportunity to hurt Victory at the 13th minute as Alex Sandro’s ball to Mario Lemina sailed over Lawrence Thomas’ goal.
Minutes later Rashid Mahazi’s cross to Besart Berisha made clean contact with the Albanian’s head, however was caught by Norberto Neto.
Just under the half hour mark Pol Lirola’s low ball found Daniele Rugani who nearly put the Italian giants in front after striking the post.
With Juventus unable to capitalise, the boys from Melbourne nearly opened the scoring on the brink of half-time, a brilliant ball from debutant Mitch Austin had Berisha diving for a header forcing Neto to parry it for a corner.
At half-time there was a cluster of rotations, Victory made four substitutions while Juventus brought on eight fresh faces.
It was substitute Blanco who gave the fans something to talk about just under the hour mark when the Spaniard’s shot from half-way sailed over Thomas’ head to put the visitors up 1-0.
— Melbourne Victory (@gomvfc) July 23, 2016
As Victory went down, they pushed for an equaliser and they nearly got it at the 71st minute when Austin and George Howard combined causing substitute goalkeeper Emil Audero fumble the ball.
Minutes later Blanco almost went from hero to villain after his poor back pass nearly gifted Howard, but Audero came to the rescue.
With eight minutes remaining in regular time Victory finally levelled the scores after some beautiful play by Valeri and Howard saw Ingham place the ball in the bottom left corner of Juventus’ goal.
At full-time the fans of both sides were happy it headed to the penalty shootout. A total of 10 penalties were taken. Valeri took the first penalty for Victory, but was saved by Audero, however Ingham, Alan Baro, Scott Galloway and Sebastian Pasquali all converted from the spot.
Thomas was the hero with two penalty saves after Macek and Padovan’s penalties were blocked by 24-year-old to seal the win for Victory.comments