WORLD FOOTBALL CHALLENGE

Georgia Dome

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AC Milan

  • Filippo Inzaghi 66'

(0) 1 - 2 (0)

FT-Pens

America

  • Enrique Esqueda 56'
  • Daniel Márquez Palacios 84'

America 2-1 AC Milan: Marquez heads winner

ATLANTA (AP) -- Oguchi Onyewu likes his new surroundings, even in defeat.

Onyewu, who earlier this month became the first American-born player to sign a contract with AC Milan, made his debut for AC Milan to begin the second half Wednesday night. While he was on the losing side in Club America's 2-1 victory in the World Football Challenge, the defender was looking at the positive side.

"We have a long time before the season starts," Onyewu said. "This preparation will only help me and the team get better. I feel good, my teammates make me feel comfortable, and I am happy to be on the field."

Daniel Marquez headed in the winning goal to help Club America take its second straight victory in the tournament.

Just one day after practicing for the first time with his new teammates, Onyewu had been on the field only 10 minutes when Salvador Cabanas' pass looped over his head and Enrique Esqueda used a high kick to beat goalkeeper Marco Storari's late dive to the left.

AC Milan's Filippo Inzaghi scored on a breakaway 66 minutes into the exhibition match, running past Club America defenders Guillermo Cerda and Ademar Rodriguez to beat goalkeeper Armando Navarrete's late dive to the left.

Marquez made it 2-1 in the 84th minute.

How did Onyewu feel he performed?

"I don't ever grade myself publicly, but I think we fought well and fought hard and we didn't capitalize on some chances," he said. "But the fact we created a lot of chances will be good in the long run."

Many of the 53,600 fans at the Georgia Dome cheered Onyewu in his debut with AC Milan. After getting a welcome hug from midfielder Clarence Seedorf, Onyewu was announced to replace defender Alessandro Nesta.

"He introduced himself with a lot of personality," Seerdorf said of his new teammate." He's still trying to fit in, but he's going to be an important player for us."

Onyewu, 27, whose parents emigrated to the United States from Nigeria, left to play professionally in Europe seven years ago.

He signed a three-year deal with Milan earlier this month, but the Italian club had been tracking Onyewu since he emerged with Belgium's Standard Liege in 2004. Despite an unsuccessful 11-game stint with Newcastle, where he often failed to keep up with the fast pace in the English Premier League, Onyewu returned to Belgium for the 2007-2008 season and helped Standard Liege win consecutive Belgian league titles.

For the United States, Onyewu started all three games at the 2006 World Cup in Germany and showed his talent in the Americans' CONCACAF Gold Cup championships in 2005 and '07.

He most recently helped the United States to the Confederations Cup final, where it lost 3-2 to Brazil.

Onyewu admitted to having a language barrier with Milan, something that needs to be conquered quickly.

"Obviously I just started training yesterday, we can't communicate as well as I would like to on the field," he said. "It's not that much of an issue, it's still football. We use sign language and other stuff. But I do need to pick up the language as quick as possible to minimize all the other minor areas I need to improve on."

Club America beat Inter Milan 5-4 on penalty kicks Sunday in Stanford, Calif. The Mexico-based club took eight shots, four on goal. Cabanas and Juan Carlos Silva each had three attempts for Club America.

Ronaldinho, Seedorf and Gianmarco Zigoni each had three shots for AC Milan.

Scoring Summary

  • AC Milan
  • America

Match Stats

  • AC Milan
  • America
13(5) Shots (on goal) 13(5)
11 Fouls 22
7 Corner kicks 1
0 Offsides 2
48% Time of Possession 52%
3 Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
3 Saves 4

Teams

  • AC Milan
  • America
Substitutes
Substitutions
Yellow Cards