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Football: FC Barcelona Defeats AC Milan in Friendly Match - 2003-07-31


Nearly 46,000 fans showed up Wednesday night here at RFK Stadium in Washington to see Spanish football (soccer) power FC Barcelona defeat AC Milan of Italy, 2-0, in an international friendly match. The game was part of a series of contests in the USA involving some of the best clubs in the world.

Barcelona struck quickly at RFK Stadium when forward Ricardo Quaresma found the back of the net in the 11th minute. The more than 45,800 fans in attendance saw Brazilian Ronaldinho take a shot in the 51st minute, which deflected off a Milan defender and rolled into the net.

AC Milan appeared somewhat flat, as the European champions were still adjusting to the time difference in the Eastern United States after making the flight from Italy a day earlier. Barcelona has been in the United States for a few days and seemed to play with more spirit, making acrobatic and crisp passes to the delight of the crowd. AC Milan had more scoring chances in the second half, but failed to convert.

Barcelona's Dutch coach, Frank Rijkaard, says he and his team are enjoying the enthusiasm shown by the American fans.

"I heard the crowd reacting, and they responded very well to this game. I think that they liked it and that is a good thing. I think that in this tournament, it is always good to make good publicity for football here in the States. And I think the people enjoyed the game," he said.

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti says through an interpreter that the firendly match was a good warmup for his team's upcoming clash with Juventus.

"He saw a very good practice from his team," he said. "Just keep in mind that they just landed yesterday from Europe. But it was productive. He saw all the players very active. At the end of the day, it was good for his team."

Barcelona played a 2-2 tie with Italian club Juventus on Sunday in Foxboro, Massacussetts. Barca will face Manchester United on Sunday in Philadelphia. AC Milan will play Juventus the same day in East Rutherford, New Jersey outside New York City.