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Milan and Olympiacos kicked off their International Champions Cup tournament in Toronto on Thursday night. It was the third match in four nights at BMO Field, and all the empty seats in the crowd may be proof that it was one match too many for Toronto in one week.
Olympiacos defeat Milan at BMO Field in International Champions Cup action
07/24/2014
 
Jul 24, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Olympiacos goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez Gago (16) gets to a corner kick in front of AC Milan midfielder Valter Birsa (14) during the first half at BMO Field. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Milan and Olympiacos kicked off their International Champions Cup tournament in Toronto on Thursday night. It was the third match in four nights at BMO Field, and all the empty seats in the crowd may be proof that it was one match too many for Toronto in one week. The announced attendance was 10, 603, a far cry from the 22, 591 that filled the stadium the night before. However, those in attendance ensured to make their voices heard and their presence felt. 


The night did not get off to the best start as the main attraction, Mario Balotelli, wasn't even on the bench for the match, which has some already speculating about an impending transfer. He had been training with the team earlier in the day and Toronto FC even presented the striker with a jersey, but the fact he wasn't even on the bench seems strange. 


Milan's other star striker, Stephan El Shaarawy, was in the starting eleven and looked impressive. He had the first real chance to open the scoring, but put it right at Olympiacos' keeper, Roberto Jimenez Gago. 


It would be Olympiacos  who would open the scoring as Alexandro Chori Dominguez put one past Milan's Gabriel. Dominguez was given too much space inside the box, and he made no mistake about it, leaving Gabriel little chance for a save. 


Despite the friendly nature of the match, it was played quite tactically sound as both teams were looking to get the win. Much of the play happened in the middle of the park, and it was far from the end-to-end action that was seen the night before at BMO Field with Tottenham and Toronto FC. 


It was nice to see Eric Abidal getting the start for his new club in Toronto, as earlier this month the former French international, signed for Olympiacos on a two year deal. He played well throughout the first half, as did the entire back line of the Greek giants. 


Olympiacos nearly made it 2-0  in the 37th minute, but Andrea Poli made a fantastic goal line save to keep his team just a goal down. Dominguez's goal would be the only one of the first half as the game went into the break with Olympiacos holding a 1-0 lead. 


It wouldn't take long for Olympiacos to get off the board in the second half though, as Dimitrios Diamantakos made it 2-0 in the 49th minute. Again, the Milan back line gave their opponents too much space inside the box, and the Greek made them pay.the price for it.  


It was just not meant to be for Milan on the night, as Riccardo Saponara hit the bottom of the crossbar with the ball bouncing away from the net. It was a much more entertaining second half with both teams opening up more. The crowd also helped foster a nice second half atmosphere, even though there wasn't many people in the stands. When the game did start to become lackluster again, the fans made sure to take matters into their own hands, as there were no less than three pitch invaders on the night. 


Things only got worse for Milan as the night wore on with Andreas Bouchalakis scoring a screamer from outside of the box. Milan fans were left frustrated throughout the evening, and resorted to "We want Balo"  chants. Unfortunately, they did not get their wish and the match ended 3-0 for Olympiacos. 


Milan will now travel to Pittsburgh for a week long training camp, where they will take on Manchester City at Heinz Field on Sunday afternoon. Olympiacos will head west to take on Liverpool at Chicago's Soldier Field. 


 
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