Real Madrid holds off Union for sweep

Updated: July 24, 2011, 10:27 AM ET
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- Real Madrid swept the three matches in the World Football Challenge, though the final match was its toughest test yet.

Jose Maria Callejon and Mesut Ozil both scored early in the first half and Real Madrid held on for a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union in an exhibition match on Saturday night.

After a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy and a 3-0 win over Chivas Guadalajara, Real Madrid -- voted by FIFA as the best European club in the 20th century -- finished the trip with another win before 57,305 fans at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles.

"I think that clubs in the MLS are much better," Real Madrid midfielder Kaka said. "I was impressed with the Union. They played very well. They gave us a tough match. They're a very good team. It wasn't easy. We were happy to win this match. They played very good in the second half."

Michael Farfan spoiled Madrid's bid for a shutout when he scored for the Union in the 80th minute.

Jack McInerney nearly tied the match for the Union in the waning seconds of stoppage time, but backup goalkeeper Jesus Fernandez made a diving save.

"It was a good match for us after we came out a bit slow," Farfan said. "I don't think we were nervous. I wasn't. We got behind and then played well in the second half. I think we gained a lot of confidence from that second half."

There were thousands of fans donning Cristiano Ronaldo jerseys. The former World Player of the Year scored four goals in the first two matches for the Spanish La Liga team, including an impressive hat trick against Chivas Guadalajara last Wednesday in San Diego.

Ronaldo didn't start and entered the match as the second half began.

Callejon scored in the second minute and Ozil followed in the 11th for a 2-0 advantage.

"The Union hung in there and took it to us," Kaka said. "I thought they played with a lot of intensity in the second half and we didn't take advantage of our chances like we could have."

The Union defeated English Premier League side Everton 1-0 last Wednesday at their home stadium, PPL Park, in nearby Chester. They had a number of scoring chances, especially in the first half before finally capitalizing late in the match.

"It was very exciting to play in this match against one of the top clubs in the world," McInerney said. "I had a great experience. I'll always remember it. You'd like to win, but we really played well in the second half."


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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