Winning start for Martial
AS Monaco's second and last fixture of the Copa EuroAmericana was played in an original setting. The Miami Marlins stadium is usually used for baseball, but was set up specially for last night's friendly. Such a superb arena was worthy of a fine spectacle, and so it proved. After a cagey opening five minutes in which both teams seemed to be feeling each other out, first blood went to the European side. Back in the thick of the action after returning from a hernia operation during the close season, Martial advanced through the middle, and after a neat one-two with Germain calmly slotted past Martinez in the Nacional goal. The Columbians responded in the 10th minute but Subasic came to the rescue, turning away a shot from Bernal.
Berbatov's fair play
AS Monaco were in clinical mood, and doubled their advantage on only their second visit to the Columbians' penalty area. Kurzawa jinked past a couple of players on the left, before pulling the ball back for Germain to drill a first time shot low towards goal. Martinez did well to keep out that effort, but was powerless to prevent Berbatov putting away the rebound (16 min). On the half-hour mark, the Bulgarian showed his admirable sense of fair play. When the referee awarded Monaco a penalty for handball by a defender, "Berba" indicated to the official that it was in fact his own hand the ball had touched. The decision was quickly reversed and the referee apologised to the Columbian side. Five minutes before the break, Fabinho picked up the ball in midfield and exchanged passes with Moutinho before showing great strength to hold off the challenge of the last defender and sweep the ball past Martinez for Monaco's third. It looked over as a contest by half-time.
But Nacional had other ideas, as they came out for the second period looking a different side. Showing more hunger and cutting edge, they came within inches of reducing the deficit when a Cardona shot thumped against the angle of post and bar. The South Americans didn't have to wait long for their reward, however, as they finally got on the scoresheet in the 63th minute. Monaco's Italian defender Raggi - who had only just come on from the bench - was beaten for pace on the right, the ball finding its way to Tréllez who made no mistake against Subasic. On 70 minutes, Ferreira Carrasco had an effort cleared off the line by some last ditch Columbian defending, and a few minutes later the Belgian was again unfortunate to see a thunderous strike pushed away by Martinez (77 mins). Leonardo Jardim gradually introduced his five substitutes into the game, but his team were struggling to impose themselves on this second half.
Nacional hopes rise… for two minutes!
There were hearts in mouths for Monaco when Pérez finished off a counter-attack to make it 3-2 with two minutes to go. Nacional immediately went looking for an equalizer, but their hopes were dashed as Ferreira Carrasco was finally rewarded for his efforts in added time. Collecting a pass from Ocampos, he beat Martinez from close range and sealed the win for his side. Following Sunday's successful outing in Barranquilla, it means AS Monaco will take two points back to Europe in this Copa EuroAmericana 2014. The transatlantic tour has been a valuable experience for Leonardo Jardim's men: plenty of hard work done, two worthy wins claimed, new horizons explored… The AS Monaco squad will return to the Principality on Friday, but there will be no time for them to rest on their laurels. Next Monday they take on Parma FC in their fourth pre-season friendly, with just under two weeks to go until the new Ligue 1 season kicks off.