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September 23, 2017

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Young's brace lifts Man Utd to 3-1 win over Real Madrid in front of 109,000 in Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Michigan -- Ashley Young struck twice Saturday to help Manchester United to a 3-1 friendly win over Real Madrid in front of the biggest crowd ever to watch a soccer match in America.

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez also scored for Manchester United, whose lone goal was Gareth Bale's spot kick.

Madrid trailed 2-1 in the second half when manager Carlo Ancelotti introduced former United star Cristiano Ronaldo off the bench.

The move did little for the European champions' quest for an equalizer, but it delighted the crowd of 109,318 at Michigan Stadium, home of the University of Michigan Wolverines that is fondly known as "The Big House."

The attendance surpassed the prior record 101,799 who watched the 1984 Olympic final between Brazil and France at Pasadena's Rose Bowl.

While Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal had voiced doubts that the U.S. tour heavy on travel offered the best pre-season preparation for his players, he was proud of the club's impact in North America as well as their performance on the pitch in four matches so far.

"Three hundred thousand fans have watched us already and now we're in the Miami final, it will be even more than that," he said.

"Broadcasters all over the world should show the first goal," he said of Young's strike in the 21st minute. "It was a fantastic goal by Manchester United. I think all the team touched the ball. People could have come to the stadium just for that goal, I think."

Real Madrid pulled level six minutes later after Bale was fouled by Michael Keane and converted the penalty.

Louis van Gaal's side went ahead again in the 37th as Young curled a ball into the net, Wayne Rooney coming close to getting the final touch.

Hernandez sealed the result in the 80th when he headed in a cross from Shinji Kagawa.

The victory sends Manchester United into Monday's final of the International Champions Cup, a series of friendlies involving eight European clubs all preparing for their domestic campaigns.

They'll face Premier League rivals Liverpool, who had already booked their berth before their 2-0 victory over AC Milan in Charlotte on Saturday.

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