MIAMI GARDENS, FL - AUGUST 03: David Villa #7 of FC Barcelona takes a free kick during a game against CD Guadalajara during the 2011 World Football Challenge at Sun Life Stadium on August 3, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Pep Guardiola perhaps, learning his lesson from the thrashing he received at the hands of Chivas, decide to field an initial team of first team members. The only new addition to the lineup of course was newly promoted player Thiago Alcantara. The half started with the first chance of the game falling to America's Vicente Sanchez who received a pass from the center of the park and was played onside by Pique, eight minutes into the match. Had it not been for Abidals speed and ability to cover, Barcelona could of started on the wrong foot but thankfully, Abidal was able to tackle and Valdes was able to calmly collect the ball.
However, besides this glorious chance, America began to loose control of the game as Iniesta, Thiago, and Xavi began dictating the rhythm of the match and this helped not only monopolize possession but also keep Barcelona's defense out of trouble. Gerard Pique had the first chance of the half for Barcelona when he chested down a pass from midfield but was denied by America's keeper from point blank range but Barcelona were not to be denied in this half.
If one thing had been missing from the previous encounters for Barcelona's attack, it was an attacking full-back that could effectively support the strikers. Adriano was given such a task and he did his job beautifully when on 24 minutes he charged down the right flank past his marker to feed Villa a cross which the striker put in the back of the net with a good header. 1-0 and Barcelona were in a good position and looked more composed and imposing that in any previous encounters on this tour. Barcelona had many opportunities to score a second goal in the first half, some very clear, such as Iniesta's 1-on-1 with the keeper on minute 32 which he missed. Barcelona had another chance around minute 38 but this time Pedro was guilty of not converting a 1-on-1 chance. The half ended and Barcelona were winning 1-0 comfortably.
In the second half Pep once again started to exchange first team starters for B players. As more B players came into the game for starters, the same frailties that marred previous encounters began to show. Thiago under pressure, gave a terrible back pass on 50 minutes that almost lead to a goal had it not been for a good save by Valdes and soon other errors would start to bring the game dangerously close to the tie. Fontas who has been criticized in these friendlies with his lack of pace and awareness was the next to fall prey as he did not read and did not run to an overhead pass delivered to Vicente Sanchez who could not score because of an excellent save from Valdes on 57 minutes. Valdes would once again be called into action three minutes later as he rushed off his line to kick away an overhead pass to an America striker that had beaten his defense for pace. Villa tried to relieve some of the pressure on Barcelona by attempting to gain a second goal but his shot was stopped and collected by America's keeper on 68 minutes. Valdes was soon subbed out for Massip but America's chances continued till the end.
By minute 80 a large portion of Barcelona's team was once again composed of B team players and America was really exploiting this weakness in pressuring and marking to attempt to tie the match. Thiago attempted to chip the keeper but shot over on 83 and Gerard Deulofeu missed a 1-on-1 with the keeper soon after. A string of failed passes by the Barcelona midfield and counters by America lead to five clear cut goal scoring chances being created by Club America in the closing ten minutes but none were converted due to bad aim and last ditch defending. Barcelona's defense was very exposed and incapable of actually defending and it seems that if the match had continued in such a rhythm for more time the tie would inevitably come. However, as the saying in football goes, if you don't convert the chances you get the other team will convert whatever you give them,and thus fortune smiled on Barcelona on minute 90. Deulofeu beat his marker down the left and centered, Keita who had rushed to support the attack was there to tap in the ball and give Barcelona a 2-0 lead and effectively end the tie and the worries.
Two minutes of extra time were give, one was played, and the game ended on a good note as Barcelona won 2-0 to end their USA Tour with a win for all the fans in Dallas that showed up to see them live. Barcelona will depart Dallas today and their next match will be against Real Madrid for the Spanish Super Cup on Aug. 14.
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