MLS: Mas­troeni says Rapids need to get ag­gres­sive and change pace to reach the post­sea­son.

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Jim Litke

CHICAGO» If Real Madrid coach Zine­dine Zi­dane makes his team write es­says about how they spent their sum­mer va­ca­tion, at least the end­ing will be a happy one.

Af­ter a 1-1 tie to end reg­u­la­tion, the visi­tors fi­nally shook free from a de­ter­mined MLS All-Star side, 4-2, in a penalty shootout Wed­nes­day night when Marcelo’s kick skid­ded low right and past div­ing goal­keeper Ste­fan Frei.

Real made all four of its tries in the round. Both Dom Dwyer and Gio­vani Do San­tos, the first two shoot­ers sent out by MLS, were stopped by Real goal­keeper Luca Zi­dane (the coach’s son) and the cross­bar, re­spec­tively.

Madrid took a 1-0 lead just in­side the hour mark, af­ter a clever through pass from Real’s Dani Ce­bal­los sent Borja May­oral in alone against Frei. May­oral’s right-footed shot barely beat a slid­ing tackle from MLS de­fender Dax McCarty be­fore elud­ing Frei’s dive to his left.

The All-Stars drew level in the 89th minute on a se­quence that re­sem­bled a pin­ball game. McCarty headed a cor­ner from Diego Va­leri that bounced low off the right post and then hit team­mate Kel­lyn Acosta. Dwyer, who’s made a splash dur­ing his brief ten­ure with the U.S. na­tional team, came through the crowd in front of the net and his header from close-in tied the game.

The match came at the end of Real Madrid’s sum­mer tour and as ex­pected, Zi­dane reached deep into his bench to begin the game. With­out Cris­tiano Ron­aldo, who did not make the tour, only four other play­ers who started in the team’s Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal win — de­fender Ser­gio Ramos, mid­field­ers Toni Kroos and Isco, and goal­keeper Key­lor Navas — were in the start­ing lineup.

Of those four, only Isco re­turned for the sec­ond half. But he left just past the hour mark as a sec­ond wave of Madrid starters — Marcelo, Gareth Bale, Casemiro and Karim Ben­zema — joined the action.

MLS coach Veljko Paunovic pulled the last of his starters af­ter half­time, and sent 10 new play­ers out. But that side was no more ef­fec­tive than the starters un­til Dwyer equal­ized.

Madrid had nearly all of the early chances and May­oral missed the best one in the 27th minute with a curl­ing drive from the top of the box that was wide of the right post. Ramos missed the most en­ter­tain­ing chance when he raced into the box alone and tried to chip goal­keeper Tim Howard just be­fore half­time. The cheeky at­tempt flew over the cross­bar.

MLS de­fender Greg Garza suf­fered a sep­a­rated shoul­der just two min­utes into the game when he was tack­led by Isco near mid­field and fell hard on his right side. He was re­placed by veteran DaMar­cus Beasley five min­utes later.

The All-Stars best chance in the open­ing half fea­tured a deft pass from Kaka deep in the box that set David Villa up from point­blank range. But Madrid’s de­fense con­verged to smother the at­tempt.

Jonathan Daniel, Getty Im­ages

Gra­ham Zusi, left, of the MLS All-Stars, bat­tles for the ball against Real Madrid’s Theo Her­nan­dez dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s All-Star Game at Sol­dier Field in Chicago. Madrid won the 1-1 game in a 4-2 shootout.

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