August 4, 2012
Robinho, Rossoneri rout Olimpia
By Adam Burrows
New EnglandSoccerNews.com Contributor
FOXBOROUGH, Mass.--In the opening match of Saturday's Gillette Stadium doubleheader, world heavyweights AC Milan defeated Honduran side CD Olimpia 3-1 for the second exhibition win on their US summer tour.
Despite late afternoon heat and humidity, the Rossoneri raced out to a 3-0 halftime lead as a masterful Robinho figured in each score.
The mercurial and well-traveled Brazilian opened the scoring in the 24th minute, directing a left-footed roller from just outside the box into the corner of the net past diving netminder Noel Valladaers.
In the 37th minute, Robinho was the middleman in a lightning counterattack that illustrated the class of the eighteen-time Italian and four-time European champions.
Antonio Cassano, fresh from solid work for the Azzurri in Euro 2102, sent a diagonal long ball that Robinho headed back across the goal mouth for Antonio Nocerino to sweep into a vacated net.
Six minutes later, Robinho weighted a gentle through pass behind the left side of the Olimpia back line that challenged claims that such finesse isnít possible on artificial turf.
Ignazio Abate collected the pass, calmly sidestepped the onrushing Valladaers, and sent a low cross into the six-yard box that a closely marked Nocerino knocked home sideways for his second score.
Nocerino nearly notched a first-half hat trick just before intermission, but Valladaers was judged to have successfully knocked away his header before it crossed the line.
The second half brought a raft of substitutions and a goal for the defending and 25-time Honduran league champions.
In the 71st minute, Jose Escalante leaned an open header into the net off a Brayan Beckeles cross to put Olimpia on the board.
AC Milan, who defeated Chelsea 1-0 in Miami on July 28th, will close their tour against Real Madrid at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday. CD Olimpia will return home to continue its title defense in the Honduran Liga Nacional.