Substitute Danilo was the hero in New Jersey, coming off the bench to score a stunning individual goal in Real Madrid’s 1-0 win over Bayern Munich in the International Champions Cup.
Much of the build up to the ICC clash at MetLife Stadium centred on Bayern Munich boss Carlo Ancelotti and his reunion with former employer Madrid, where he led the Spanish giants to Champions League glory in 2014.
But Ancelotti was unable to get one over Madrid as Danilo spoiled the pre-season party, firing the ball through the hands of Bayern goalkeeper Sven Ulreich with 11 minutes remaining on Wednesday.
Danilo – on the pitch for 16 minutes – charged down the flank before cutting inside onto his left foot as his thunderous long-range effort proved too hot to handle, as Madrid now turn their attention to the UEFA Super Cup against Sevilla on August 9.
Bayern and Madrid both made four changes to their starting XIs, with the German champions bringing in captain Philipp Lahm, Xabi Alonso, Juan Bernat and keeper Ulreich for Fabian Benko, Franck Ribery, Milos Pantovic and Tom Starke following the 4-1 victory over Inter.
As for Madrid – who saw off Chelsea 3-2 last time out – Zinedine Zidane gave James Rodriguez a chance in midfield along with Isco amd Luka Modric, while captain Sergio Ramos returned in defence at the expense of Mateo Kovacic, Marco Asensio, Sergio Diaz and Nacho.
Bayern controlled most of the play in the first half, and while the Bavarians created chances, they were unable to break through.
On the front foot from the outset, David Alaba came closest for Bayern in the 25th minute, rattling the right post with a delightful free-kick that left Madrid goalkeeper Kiko Casilla stranded.
American forward Julian Green – the hat-trick hero from Bayern’s rout of Inter – should have put the Germans ahead not long after, having controlled the ball between two defenders but his finish lacked the direction and power to trouble Casilla.
Casilla was called into action just past the half-hour mark, forced to turn Thiago Alcantara’s powerful effort around the post.
Madrid did have some spells of possession in the front third, but James and Co. were forced to try their luck from range before the break.
The Spaniards were the better side in the second half, dominating proceedings for larger periods and they almost hit the front on the hour-mark.
Alvaro Morata sprung the offside trap but the Spain international was unable to curl his shot inside the post, while Madrid came close again two minutes later, with Isco hitting the post from outside the penalty area.
Danilo, though, finally broke the deadlock in the 79th minute, cutting inside between two opponents and unleashing a thunderous strike through the hands of the Bayern keeper.
Diaz could have made it 2-0 in stoppage time but Ulreich was up to the task to deny the substitute.