The 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target ended in a penalty shoot-out for MLS All Stars and Real Madrid, with the champions of Europe enjoying a 4-2 victory in Chicago, Illinois. But MLS stars head coach Veljko Paunovic said he was the one to blame. Get our football betting tips here.
The match at Soldier Field was played in front of a sell out crowd of 61,428 fans and aired to more than two million viewers in the United States and Canada, an all-time record for an MLS All-Star Game.
After dominating the ball through-out a goalless first half, Real went ahead just under the hour mark after Borja Mayoral took advantage of the defensive mismate of MLS and scored with a right footed shot.
MLS equalised through Orlando City SC forward Dom Dwyer in the 86th minute after taking advantage of one of the few defensive mistakes made by the La Liga giants during the game and forcing the game to penalties. This was to be only the second time in history an MLS All-Saints Game had been decided by a penalty shootout.
Spanish giants were not to be denied on spot-kicks putting all four of theirs away thanks to Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo making the decisive tally.
“It’s unfortunate. PKs you never know. I think emotions – we had a drain of energy in the second half because given the circumstances of this kind of game, some guys had to run more and some guys less,” Paunovic said after the game.
“But what was good for me was the reaction. We showed character and I think that the effort was appropriate and I think overall the image was good. And at the end when you came to the point where you have to go to PKs it’s not easy for the guys after they had to spend a lot of energy. And that’s it. They tried the best, for sure, for sure.”