The Metropolitano was packed to the rafters for this opening fixture of the Copa EuroAmericana 2014! The match kicked off in a fantastic atmosphere, with the local outfit immediately looking to take the game to their European visitors. Leonardo Jardim had picked a very attacking line-up, however, and his AS Monaco side quickly settled into their rhythm. There was a brief scare in the 11th minute as Alvaro Dominguez led a lightning Junior counter-attack, with Ovelar inches away from converting his cross. A quarter of an hour into proceedings, Toulalan produced Monaco's first attempt on goal, his shot deflected behind for a corner.
"Berba" shows his class
In the 19th minute, YFC crossed hard and low for Berbatov, but the Bulgarian was unable to keep his shot on target. The Columbians responded on the half-hour with JG Dominguez firing just wide, before Fabinho had a similar effort at the other end two minutes later. Viera in the Junior goal produced a stunning point-blank save from Berbatov, who'd beaten two defenders (38 min), while Germain missed the target from another dangerous YFC cross. Germain was back at the heart of the action just before the break, providing a crucial assist for the only goal of the game. The n°18 put in a great cross for Berbatov, whose acrobatic volley from the left side of the penalty area gave Viera absolutely no chance. The ball flew into the far corner. The Metropolitano was silenced.
A vibrant Monaco display
Early in the second half, Ovelar was sent free through the middle. The Junior striker took the ball round an onrushing Subasic, but somehow contrived to miss the gaping goal. It proved to be the Columbians' last real chance of the evening, as AS Monaco went on to dominate the remainder of the game. They came close to adding a second, with Viera just keeping out another powerful effort from Berbatov (52 min). Junior's Uruguayan keeper then had to rely on his defenders to help him out as they blocked from YFC, following a stunning pass from the ever-elusive Ocampos. That was the signal for Leonardo Jardim to make three changes, sending on Moutinho, Isimat-Mirin and Kurzawa in place of Raggi, Elderson and YFC.
Solid at the back
Moutinho was quickly into the action, the Portuguese midfielder firing a free-kick just wide of the left-hand post (68 min).With barely twenty minutes left in the game, Junior tried to mount a fightback, but neither Ovelar and Cuellar were able to reach a good cross from the right. Viera was kept busy right to the end, parrying a superb header from Bahamboula (85 min) and then punching clear Moutinho's corner (87 min). Cheered on by the home support, Junior threw the kitchen sink at their European opponents in an effort to get back on terms, but against a solid defence they could only manage two long-range free-kicks, both of which were easily dealt with. In the end AS Monaco were well worth the victory, having produced some sublime football in spite of the searing heat. They will now look to reproduce their fine performance next Wednesday in Miami against Nacional de Medellín.