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ICC2016: Victory edge Juventus after penalties in Melbourne

Melbourne Victory and Juventus have played out a 1-1 draw in the opening game of the 2016 International Champions Cup in Melbourne.

An absolute cracker from Carlos Blanco Moreno gave the Italian giants a lead in the 58th minute before Jai Ingham equalised for the A-League powerhouse late in the piece in front of just over 23,000 fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The contest then headed to penalties which saw the Victory hold their nerve to win 4-3 in the shootout.

The moment of an otherwise lacklustre affair came just before the hour-mark when young Spanish defender Blanco Moreno spotted Victory keeper Lawrence Thomas marginally off his line and produced a stunning effort from just inside Juve's attacking half, which dropped perfectly under the crossbar for quite a stunning opening goal.

Victory were decent value for a leveller and it came seven minutes from time when a series of neat passes (13 to be precise) involving amongst others, Carl Valeri and George Howard, resulted in second-half substitute Ingham taking a lovely touch to give himself enough room to slide his angled effort across Emil Audero from just inside the box.

Juventus had control of the first half and created a few efforts, namely Paulo Dybala's 22nd-minute free-kick which was inches wide, before central defender Daniele Rugani fired Pol Mikel Lirola Kosok's inch-perfect cross into the upright.

Late in the first half, Besart Berisha had the Victory's best attempt when he headed Mitch Austin's lovely cross goal-bound only for Neto to brilliantly push it away to safety with a reflex save.

On 71 minutes, Howard produced a clever save from young Juve keeper Audero with Austin once again the provider before the impressive recruit from the Central Coast Mariners had a great chance to level for the Victory but sliced his effort wide when just edging ahead of his marker.

Nevertheless, Ingham was able to level it up for Kevin Muscat's side who forced a penalty shootout against Max Allegri's Bianconeri, who despite being devoid of stars, still housed plenty of quality.

The spot-kick contest saw Luca Marrone (J), Ingham (MV), Matia Vitale (J) and Alan Baro (MV) trade blows after Audero kept out Valeri and prior to Thomas saving from Roman Macek.

Scott Galloway (MV) scored easily, Lorenzo Rossetti (J) converted, 16-year-old Sebastian Pasquali fired home for the Victory before Thomas denied Stefano Padovan.

Juventus next meet Tottenham Hotspur at 'The G' on Tuesday night while the Victory will look ahead to their friendly with Atletico Madrid in Geelong next weekend prior to their FFA Cup Round of 32 clash with Newcastle Jets on August 3.


International Champions Cup - 2016

Melbourne Victory (AUS): 1 (Jai Ingham 83')*
Juventus (ITA): 1 (Carlos Blanco Moreno 58')
*Victory win 4-3 on penalties
Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia - 23,174

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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