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Classy Juventus leave it late to defeat All Stars

Juventus narrowly defeated the courageous A-League All Stars 3-2 in a thriller at ANZ Stadium on Sunday night.

Marcelo Carrusca put the All Stars ahead in the ninth minute, and after Juventus had leveled early in the second half, substitute Tomi Juric put the All Stars ahead once again. However, after a brilliant defensive effort, the All Stars conceded two goals within ten minutes, giving Juventus a hard earnt win.

As expected, the match began at a fast tempo, but what no one could’ve predicted was the All Stars taking the lead in the ninth minute through Carrusca. The All Stars dominated through the middle of the park for large portions of the first ten minutes, and after a clever link-up between Broich and Berisha, the ball found Carrusca in space at the edge of the area. Carrusca then glided into the box, leaving Caceres behind, and neatly slid the ball past Buffon for a classy finish.

The goal was the wake-up call that the Italians needed, and eventually they worked themselves into the match, dominating possession and finding room on the flanks. Lichtsteiner was busy on the right wing with Pogba, Tevez and Marchisio providing support.

Andrea Pirlo was influential in the centre of the park, controlling the match despite Gombau’s best efforts to smother the playmaker.

On the half hour mark, Juventus’ superiority was evident with their control of the match, though they had failed to create any real chances, despite plenty of attacking football.

In the 32nd minute, Ibini dispossessed Evra on the right flank, and had plenty of room to pick out Berisha, who forced a diving save out of Buffon.

The All Stars were well drilled in their defensive duties, and the Italians’ first real chance fell to Tevez in the 41st minute, when the Argentine found a slither of space and blasted his shot against the upright from just outside the box.

The All Stars began the second 45 in similar fashion to the first, with Ibini setting up Broich in the 48th minute, though the German couldn’t direct his shot on target.

At the other end, Juventus continued to impress with some slick ball movement, and Pogba earnt his side a free kick on the right wing after beating Rose easily. Pirlo swung the ball into the box, and Ogbonna met the ball well but couldn’t get his header on target.

Juventus again worked their way into the match and applied pressure from both wings. Eventually the pressure was too much, when Llorente headed the ball home from close range after a classy cross from Evra on the left flank.

The match was level, and Gombau decided to swap his entire squad over in the space of six minutes, with Del Piero making way first in what could be his last ever competitive match.

The swap reaped its reward when Juric, with his second touch of the game, slammed the ball home from inside the penalty box. The youngster let the ball run across his body from a throw-in, and flicked the ball up, then finished well to put the All Stars ahead for the second time.

However, two late goals to Juventus gave them the victory, despite the All Stars inspired performance against one of the best football teams in the world. Pogba showed his class to level the scores in the 80th minute, placing the ball into the far right corner from just outside the box. Pepe then volleyed home the winner in the 88th minute when the All Stars failed to clear the ball inside the box.

In the end, it was an encouraging performance and result for the A-League, despite the heart-breaking result that was sealed in the final minutes of the match.

About the author

avatarJames is a devout Melbourne Victory fan and a UQ Journalism student, writing for Ultimate A-League.

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