NEW YORK: Claudio Pizarro scored the only goal as Bayern Munich beat Chivas Guadalajara 1-0 on Thursday night in a friendly match at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey to launch the Bundesliga champions’ US tour.
Pep Guardiola’s men controlled the majority of possession and took the lead in the 10th minute when Pizarro slotted home Franck Ribery’s corner.
Pizarro nearly had two more goals in the first half, with Carlos Fierro getting Chivas’ best chance to equalize in the 81st minute, only for Bayern goalkeeper Tom Starke’s save to preserve the winning margin.
A crowd of 25,073 fans turned out for the match at the home of Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls in Harrison, New Jersey.
Bayern, who hadn’t played a pre-season match in the United States since 2004, next head across the country to Portland, Oregon, where they will take on a team of MLS All-Stars in the North American league’s annual mid-season showcase on Wednesday.
It’s all part of Bayern’s bid to raise their profile in the United States, a move that other European clubs — notably such English Premier League outfits as Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool — have already made.
The club has opened a US office in Manhattan, and is launching a US website.
A majority of Bayern’s German internationals — including goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, Thomas Mueller and World Cup-winning goal-scorer Mario Goetze — are still resting after their triumphant campaign in Brazil.
Nor did the sell-out crowd get to see 19-year-old German-American Julian Green, who scored as a substitute for the US in their 2-1 World Cup loss to Belgium.
Green only recently returned to training after picking up a minor knee injury and Guardiola opted to play it safe with the youngster.
But France’s Ribery — who missed the World Cup with a back injury — looked sharp as he ably exploited Guadalajara’s defense.
The Mexican side finally resorted to fouling him repeatedly, with both Jair Pereira and Jesus Sanchez Garcia receiving yellow cards after tangling with him.
After Guadalajara’s Fernando Arce pulled a shot wide in the eighth minute, Bayern went ahead. Ribery curled a corner toward the near post where Pizarro headed it home.
Ribery set up Pizarro again in the 24th, but the Peruvian’s shot was wide.
Guadalajara’s best chance to level the score came in the 81st when Fierro controlled a cross on his chest before slamming a shot from six yards out straight at Starke.
Bayern put the ball in the net once more in injury time, but Lucas Scholl’s effort was ruled out for offside.