BARI, ITALY - JULY 21: Michelangelo Albertazzi of Milan and Coutinho of Inter in action during the match between FC Internazionale Milano and AC Milan as part of the TIM preseason tournament at Stadio San Nicola on July 21, 2012 in Bari, Italy. (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

Milan 3, Olimpia 1: Italian Heavyweights Coast To Victory Over Honduran Champs

AC Milan and CD Olimpia played to an entertaining 3-1 finish at Gillette Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Robinho and Antonio Nocerino scored for the Italians, while Jose Escalante tallied the Hondurans' consolation effort.

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Milan Vs. Olimpia Final: Italian Heavyweights Coast To 3-1 Victory Over Honduran Champs

Fans in Foxboro, Massachusetts paid for a match between two very good teams with international followings, and hoped that though it was an exhibition, both sides would put on a show. Those fans were well-rewarded as AC Milan showcased their style and class, gliding to a comprehensive 3-1 victory over CD Olimpia at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night. The match was the first half of a soccer doubleheader at the Razor, with the New England Revolution set to take on Sporting Kansas City an hour or so after the final whistle.

Olimpia looked sharp, but it was Milan's game from the opening whistle, and indeed it was Milan who scored the first goal. Antonio Nocerino flicked a pass to Robinho in midfield, who dazzled both the crowd and his marker with some stepovers before firing a low left-footed shot to the bottom corner to put the Rossoneri ahead in the 24th minute.

Nocerino perhaps should have doubled the advantage in the 26th minute when he received a lateral pass at the top of the box from Robinho, but the midfielder's low shot was saved well by Honduran international goalkeeper Noel Valladares.

Nocerino didn't miss on his second opportunity, though, firing Milan to a 2-0 lead in the 37th minute. Antonio Cassano received the ball wide on the left and played a long, looping cross that Robinho headed back across the face of goal from the far post. Nocerino was waiting, and he buried his chance.

The Italian international turned his singe goal into a brace in the 43rd minute after Robinho set up Ignazio Abate on goal. The fullback was stymied by Valladares, but recovered in time to play a low cross into the six-yard box that Nocerino simply tapped in.

As the second half began and the inevitable mass of substitutions started to take their toll, Olimpia stole a chance to save some pride in the 72nd minute. Fullback Brayan Beckeles crossed to substitute Jose Escalante, who drilled his header home to save the blushes of Honduran fans in the crowd.

For more coverage, visit our Revolution blog, The Bent Musket, our soccer hub, and the AC Milan Offside.


Milan Vs. Olimpia Update: Escalante Makes Instant Impact Off The Bench, Cuts Deficit To 3-1

As the second half threatened to bog down into a slow and boring affair of substitutions and reserve players, CD Olimpia served a reminder to AC Milan that victory, if in the cards, would not come easily. Substitute Jose Escalante scored on a powerful header with virtually his first touch of the game to cut Milan's lead to 3-2 in the 72nd minute.

The goal was made by the cross of fullback Brayan Beckeles, who served up a dangerous ball toward the far post. It continued through traffic, missing the heads of several players on both sides before it fell onto Escalante's, who made no mistake. The thumping header blew past Edoardo Pazzagli and into the back of the net.

Both clubs have virtually switched out their entire teams with substitutions by now, though Milan have certainly used more of their bench. Stars like Robinho and Cassano have been replaced with lesser-known names like Bryan Cristante and Djamel Mesbah, although club legend Massimo Ambrosini has also taken the pitch.

For more coverage, visit our team page and blog, The Bent Musket, as well as our soccer hub and The AC Milan Offside.


Milan Vs. Olimpia Update: Rossoneri Show Superior Class And Cruise To 3-0 Halftime Lead

Preseason for most teams is about getting match fitness for the new season, but when the owners of venues like Gillette Stadium book high-profile international friendlies, they're hoping for an entertaining draw and a big gate. The Kraft Sports Group may not have gotten the crowd they were hoping for, but they've certainly gotten an entertaining match as AC Milan turned in a vintage 45 minutes and jumped to a 3-0 halftime lead over CD Olimpia on Saturday afternoon.

The scoring opened through Robinho in the 24th minute, who showed some dazzling ball skills to befuddle the defenders in front of him and then rip a shot to the low corner for the lead. His provider, Antonio Nocerino, would then turn goalscorer in the 37th minute, tapping in an easy finish after a deep cross from Antonio Cassano was headed back across goal by Robinho.

I Rossoneri got their third goal in the 43rd minute, and it was Nocerino scoring again with Robinho heavily involved. The Brazilian played a stunning through ball into traffic that sprung Ignazio Abate down the right flank and in on goal. The fullback tried to round Olimpia 'keeper Noel Valladares, but the Honduran international stopped his progress. He didn't get the ball, though, and Abate recovered well enough to put in a low cross that Nocerino flicked in from point-blank for his second goal of the game.

Milan has been content to let Olimpia play and then punish them on the counter, but that doesn't mean that the Leones have been without chances. Carlos Will Mejia nearly had the first goal of the match in the 22nd minute when he ripped a shot from about 25 yards out that buzzed just past Marco Amelia's right post, and striker Douglas Caetano may feel he should have had a goal in the 45th minute off of a great snap header, but Amelia was equal to it.

For more coverage, visit our team page and blog, The Bent Musket, as well as our soccer hub and The AC Milan Offside.


Milan Vs. Olimpia Update: Robinho Turns On The Style, Fires Italians Ahead 1-0

AC Milan and Olimpia may be playing before a fairly sparse crowd at Gillette Stadium, but that hasn't stopped the Italians from putting on a show. Robinho demonstrated his dazzling dribbling ability and fired the rossoneri ahead 1-0 in the 24th minute.

Milan caught Olimpia on the break, and Antonio Nocerino flicked a pass into the path of Robinho, who dribbled straight at the Olimpia defense. With some quick stepovers at the top of D he cleared himself some space, and then fired a left-footed daisycutter into the bottom right corner, leaving Olimpia goalkeeper Noel Valladares with no chance.

Both Milan and Olimpia fielded strong starting lineups. The Italians elected to start most of their first-choice players including Antonio Cassano, Robinho, Riccardo Montolivo, and highly-touted young striker Stephan El Shaarawy.

Olimpia also presented a number of starters, but elected to leave former MLS golden-boot winner and MVP Luciano Emilio on the bench, though he is available to feature as a substitute.


Olimpia: Valladaers; Beckeles, Palacios, de Souza, Garcia, C.W. Mejia, Bruschi, Cordova, Tilguath; Caetano, Elvir

Bench: Izaguirre, Emilio, Escalante, J.R. Mejia, Reina, Rojas, Arevalo, Portillo

Milan: Amelia; Abate, Bonera, Acerbi, Antonini; Nocerino, Montolivo, Constant; Cassano, Robinho, El Shaarawy

Bench: Abbiati, Pazzagli, De Sciglio, Mesbah, Flamini, Ambrosini, Emanuelson, Cristante, Valoti, Porsenik, Yepes

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