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Thursday, August 5, 2010
Ronaldo gives Mourinho debut win with Real

Cristiano Ronaldo's brilliant late free-kick earned Real Madrid a 3-2 win over Mexican side America in Jose Mourinho's first match at the helm in Los Angeles.

Mourinho, missing Spain internationals Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Alvaro Arbeloa, Raul Albiol and Xabi Alonso, who are still on holiday after their World Cup triumph last month, fielded a competitive side for his first game in charge.

Former Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek started in place of Casillas, with youngster Juanfran at right-back, Marcelo on the left and Pepe in the centre of the defence alongside Ezequiel Garay. Fernando Gago, Lassana Diarra and Ronaldo began in midfield, along with recent signing Pedro Leon, while youngster Sergio Canales also made his debut in a support role behind Karim Benzema up front.

After missing two decent chances early in the game, Benzema unselfishly set up Canales to score the first goal of the Mourinho era. It came 11 minutes before half-time, but Enrique Esqueda equalised shortly after the interval following some sloppy defending by Madrid, and Vicente Sanchez side-footed home on the hour to give the Mexicans the lead.

But Mourinho's side hit back through substitute Gonzalo Higuain moments later and Ronaldo secured a debut victory for the Portuguese coach with a superb free-kick 10 minutes from time.

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