New England Soccer Today

Milan Crush Olimpia

Robinho scored and had an assist as AC Milan defeated Olimpia, 3-1, at Gillette Stadium. (Photo: Walter Silva)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Italian giants A.C. Milan cruised to an easy 3-1 victory over Honduran champions C.D. Olimpia at Gillette Stadium in an international exhibition on Saturday evening. Antonio Nocernino scored twice and Robinho added a goal for Milan, while Jose Escalente scored a consolation goal for Olimpia in the second half.

The heavily favored Milan had the added advantage of playing against a tired Olimpia squad that was playing their second match in three days. Olimpia defeated Salvadoran club C.D. FAS 3-1 in CONCACAF Champions League play on Thursday. Only five players from their starting eleven that night also started Saturday’s friendly.

Robinho opened the scoring for Milan in the 24th minute after getting the ball from Nocerino about 30 yards from goal. The Brazilian forward cut around a defender and hit a low shot inside the near post to put Milan in the lead.

Nocerino combined with Robinho again to add the second in the 38th minute after Antonio Cassano found Robinho in the far side of the box with a cross. Robinho headed it to Nocerino in front of goal, who slotted it in to make it 2-0.

Nocerino then made it 3-0 two minutes before halftime after Robinho played Ignazio Abate into space on the right side of the box with a fantastic through ball. Abate drew out the goalkeeper than slid the ball across the box to Nocerino, who slotted it in.

After wholesale changes on both sides, Olimpia finally clawed one back in the 72nd minute though Jose Escalante after he rose above his defender to head in a cross from Brayan Beckeles.

AC Milan asserted their dominance early and Olimpia’s Noel Valladaers was forced to come up huge in the 10th minute with two saves in quick succession. First Valladaers denied a Robinho effort targeted for the lower corner with a diving save. The rebound fell to Stephen El Shaarawy, who quickly hit an effort on frame, but Valladaers recovered to make another impressive save.

After Robinho opened the scoring, Milan continued to pile on the pressure and just two minutes after taking the lead nearly added a second. This time Robinho played the role of provider, setting up Nocerino just outside the box. Nocerino placed a shot towards the lower corner, but Valladaers tipped it wide.

Nocerino scored his first in the 38th minute and then had another opportunity in the 40th minute, but Valladaers punched it out. He’d get his second goal three minutes later.

Olimpia had essentially their first chance of the game in the 45th minute when Carlos Will Mejia found Douglas Caetano near the penalty spot with a cross from the right flank. Caetano put a header on frame, but goalkeeper Marco Amelia was well positioned to make the save.

Cassano then threatened seven minutes into the second half after he was played behind the defense on a long ball. Cassano powered a shot on frame, but substitute goalkeeper Escober Izaguirree was there to make the save.

AC Milan took their foot off the gas from there and Olimpia had a few more chances, but were only able to break through in the 72nd minute on Escalente’s goal.

Milan continues preseason on August 8 against Real Madrid at Yankee Stadium.


  1. Jim

    August 5, 2012 at 8:16 am

    How was the attendance? I showed up for the second game, skipped this one, and it was a ghost town when I showed up. Lots of small auxiliary lots full and empty main lots. A kid I was talking too said the attendance was the same, if not worse, for the friendly.

  2. Brian O'Connell

    August 5, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Hey Jim,
    Lots of empty seats for the Milan game. I didn’t see an official attendance number, but I’d estimate it was somewhere between 17-20K.

    • Sean Donahue

      August 5, 2012 at 1:12 pm

      I imagine the 17,592 they announced was for both games. Attendance for the Milan game certainly was much poorer than past international friendlies in Foxboro featuring a big European team.

  3. ABU

    August 5, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Attendance for the Milan game was around 8,000. That’s my estimate from looking at the crowd. Very disapointing showing.

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