AC Milan tops Galaxy for 3rd at Champions Cup
MIAMI GARDENS, Florida (AP) — Mario Balotelli and M’baye Niang scored first-half goals as AC Milan controlled most of the match to beat the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-0 and claim the third-place in the International Champions Cup friendly tournament Wednesday.
Balotelli scored in the 17th minute and Niang in the 40th, but the Italian club got a scare in the 79th when Balotelli played a ball across the field and went down holding the back of his right leg around the knee area.
The injury was apparently only cramping on a hot South Florida night.
“We played a good match from a technical and effort standpoint,” AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said. “We made a few mistakes, but feel satisfied.”
AC Milan won two of its three matches in this series of friendlies among eight club teams. The Galaxy, which beat two-time defending Serie A champion Juventus earlier in the tournament, was the only U.S.-based team in the event and lost two of three games.
The inaugural tournament ended later Wednesday night, with Real Madrid vs. Chelsea for the title.
Balotelli’s free kick from about 30 meters in the 10th minute curled left off his foot but was saved by Galaxy goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini. AC Milan didn’t wait much longer to break through.
The Galaxy misplayed a clearing pass in the 17th minute, and Andrea Poli played a ball into the box for Balotelli, who was marked by two defenders. He shook free with ease, splitting the pair and his low shot beat Cudicini.
Niang evaded a number of defenders, then feinted clear of L.A.’s Todd Dunivant before nonchalantly sending a low left-footed strike inside the far post.
“A really nice goal,” Allegri said.