Juventus defeated the MLS All-Stars 5-3 in a penalty-kick shootout after a 1-1 tie through 90 minutes at the MLS All-Star Game before a record crowd at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Wednesday.
Bradley Wright-Phillips of the New York Red Bulls hit the post in the bottom of the fourth frame, opening the way for Mattia De Sciglio of Juventus to beat Columbus Crew goalie Zack Steffen and secure the victory.
Juventus in regulation scored first on a goal by Andrea Favilli in the 21st minute. Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez, the game’s MVP, made it 1-1 in the 26th minute.
The fans wanted to see Martinez score, and he did not disappoint. The league’s top goal-scorer showed why with a brilliant goal.
Martinez, who has 24 goals — three shy of the MLS single-season record — in 23 matches this season and 43 goals in 43 games during his two seasons in Atlanta, took a ball from Atlanta teammate Miguel Almiron deep in the right side of the box.
Martinez headed the ball to the center of the box, where Carlos Vela of Los Angeles FC pounded a shot on goal that Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny parried to the left. Montreal’s Ignacio Piatti made a hustle play and kept the ball from going out and sent it across the goalmouth, where Martinez headed it into the net despite almost getting kicked in the face.
Juventus, which did not have recent signee Cristiano Ronaldo, had taken the lead on a headed ball by Favilli from a service by Matheus Pereira.
The match drew a standalone MLS record crowd of 72,317, topping the 70,728 fans who attended the game vs. Manchester United in Houston in 2010.
The largest MLS All-Star Game attendance was 78,416 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., for a doubleheader that included Brazil’s national team vs. the FIFA World All-Stars.
—Field Level Media