“I was offside”, Martinez said as he smiled, but still “I scored against them with Torino”. Josef Martinez rebelliously posed alongside the goal as Atlanta fans watched. Through a translator, Martinez said that it was a very important moment in a hugely important game. Massimiliano Allegri, manager of Juventus, said it was good preparation and a wonderful game. For the Italian powerhouse starting with eight Serie A titles won in less than three weeks, it was only a warmup.
The celebrations belonged to Juventus in the end. It was a huge let-down for the 72,317 crows as the Italian powerhouse triumphed in the MLS All-Star Game on penalties after the match on Wednesday night ended on a 1 – 1 draw. It was the A-T-L that got to see their favourite do what he does well, Martinez scored for the MLS the lone goal as part of what can only be described as a record-shattering season.
Juventus Dominated the Penalty Kick Stage
Juventus was the one who scored on all five penalties and won when De Sciglio kicked one past goalkeeper Steffen. The New York Red Bulls, Wright-Phillips left the door open after the MLS scored on the 1st three penalties. It is the second year for the All-Star Game to end in a draw of each team scoring 1 and that had to go into penalty time to be decided. Last year it was Real Madrid that triumphed at the Chicago’s Soldier Field over the MLS squad with 4 -2. In just 23 league games, Martinez with 24 goals is on par to outshine the scoring record of 27 goals of MLS and basically accepted the Golden Boot even though a third of the season remains. Martinez shared that it just adds pressure and therefore he is not thinking about the chance of becoming the prolific scorer of the league, he is just leaving it in the hands of God.
The 33-year-old, Cristiano Ronaldo, five-time FIFA play of the year decided to remain in Europe to train and rest after his pricey transfer from Real Madrid and the elimination of Portugal from the World Cup. With only a few days to blend together the all-star squad, the MLS team faced challenges of its own. The 23-team league squad did not include LA Galaxy forward, Ibrahimović who played from 2004 to 2006 with Juventus, the 36-year old who ranks 2nd with 15 goals in the MLS needed rest. Tata Martino, Atlanta United coach, said he thought everyone on the team did an exceptional job, taking into consideration that they only had two days of practice together.
In the 21st minute of the game Juventus gave the Italians too much room, allowing Pereira to escape unchallenged during a left-foot pass near the goal, Favill flicked the ball past Brad Guzan, although this lead lasted only around five minutes. Martinez’s pure persistence fling the Atlanta fans into turmoil with his goal.