LAS VEGAS — Xavi Alonso and Sami Khedira scored in each half to give Real Madrid a 2-1 win over Mexican club Santos Laguna in a friendly Sunday.
Alonso opened the scoring for Madrid in the 14th minute with a 30-yard strike off an Alvaro Arbeola pass. Santos Laguna equalized in the 25th minute when Cristian Suarez scored from inside the box after collecting a Daniel Luduena pass.
Khedira scored the winner when Santos keeper Oswaldo Sanchez lost control of a shot that eventually bounced off Khedira’s face and into the net in the 72nd minute.
Real Madrid, the heavy favorite, was challenged by the lesser known Mexican club team but used its superior athleticism to control most of the game.
The announced crowd of 29,152 roared, and flashes popped whenever international superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka touched the ball, but neither player had much of an impact on the game.
“We looked strong and active. We are growing every game,” Real Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka said. “This was a physical game. It was a tough game, and Santos came prepared and played well.”
Neither team mounted much offense in the first 10 minutes, but Real Madrid controlled play and eventually put pressure on Sanchez. Alonso made it 1-0 when he took a centering pass from Arbeola in the center of the field and drilled the ball into the left side of the net.
Santos Laguna stayed close by playing a physical game, and drew level with Suarez’s goal.
Luduena floated the ball past two defenders to Suarez, who gathered the pass and scored past keeper Antonio Adan.
Real Madrid came out in the second half with an entirely different team, while Santos Laguna kept its lineup intact.
Santos Laguna played as hard as it could, but couldn’t match Real Madrid’s power. Khedira accidentally scored the winning goal, and Adan made a nice save in the 81st minute to preserve the victory.
“It was a big honor to play one of the best teams in the world,” Santos manager Benjamin Galindo said.
“Nowadays there are no friendly games. Our team is always looking to win, and I was happy with the team’s performance.”
Fletcher to train with Scotland
Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher is a step closer to returning back to competitive football after it was confirmed he would train with the Scottish national team.
Fletcher has been sidelined by ulcerative colitis - an inflammatory bowel condition - and hasn’t played for almost 10 months.
Scotland will face Australia in a friendly next Wednesday at Easter Road Stadium and while the 28-year-old has not been named by manager Craig Levein, it was confirmed he would link up with the national team.
“Darren will be with us at the weekend, he is back in training and he played 45 minutes in a practice match last week,” Levein was quoted as saying by BBC Sport. “He is not in the squad because he has not played for Manchester United but he will do a bit of training with us.”
Fletcher’s last appearance for Manchester United was Nov. 22 last year. In July, Reds manager Sir Alex Ferguson said Fletcher would be at great odds to even play again, but said the midfielder would be offered an alternative role at the Premier League club. — Agencies