AC Milan vs. CD Olimpia: Italian Giants Cruise To Expected 3-1 Victory Over Honduran Champions

MILAN ITALY - JANUARY 23: Robinho of AC Milan turns Francesco Antonoli of AC Cesena during the Serie A match between AC Milan and AC Cesena at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on January 23 2011 in Milan Italy. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

If the traffic and the crammed parking on the way into the AC Milan vs. Olimpia match at Gillette Stadium was any indication, the Razor should have been rocking and loud as a tremendously entertaining match between two heavyweights of their domestic leagues ensued. Only half of that came to pass; the match was entertaining but the crowd was unusually sparse as Milan dusted up the Honduran champs 3-1 behind masterful goals and creative play from Robinho and Antonio Nocerino.

Robinho's goal was a work of Brazilian art. Milan broke on Olimpia with a lightning-fast counter, and Nocerino played a little flicked pass to Robinho at the top of the D. The tricky forward tripped up his marker with some nifty stepovers before firing low with his left foot, putting the Rossoneri ahead.

Olimpia fought back but rarely got any clear chances. Milan seemed content to sit back and let the Leones play while picking their spots on the counter.

Nocerino's first goal was a good one, and also involved the work of Robinho, who could have been an easy choice for Man of the Match. Antonio Cassano received the ball wide on the left and floated in a deep far-post cross - not unlike the sorts of crosses that Chris Tierney is known for (see what I did there?) - that found Robinho. The forward leaped into the air and intelligently headed the ball back across the face of goal, stranding Olimpia goalkeeper Noel Valladares. Nocerino was waiting, and it was a simple finish for the Italy midfielder.

Nocerino made it two for him, three for Milan in the 43rd minute, but it was arguably Robinho's most breathtaking contribution to the match that really highlighted the goal. The forward played an absolutely brilliant through-ball to Ignazio Abate. Abate tried to round the keeper, failed, and yet managed to cross to the six-yard box for Nocerino to finish, but the goal was made by Robinho's pass. It was mesmerizing.

The second half became hard to watch. Both clubs made a bevy of substitutions throughout the period, slowing play down and eliminating the chemistry on the field between players. Despite this, Olimpia took an opportunity to score a goal and deny the Italians a shutout.

Brayan Beckeles made a run down the right flank and powered in a superb cross. It floated through traffic before resting perfectly on the head of an unmarked Jose Escalante, who had just been subbed in a minute before. Escalante powered the header home and saved the blushes of the Honduran side.

Given the level of traffic on the way into the stadium, one could be forgiven for expecting a better turnout. Apparently there were a lot of people who watched from the concourses instead of sitting in their seats (probably in an effort to get in the shade), but from the press box, the match looked no better attended than a standard Revolution match, which is a shame.

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