June 3, 2017 / 7:42 PM / 6 months ago

Soccer-Mandzukic cracker answers Ronaldo opener in final

CARDIFF, June 3 (Reuters) - Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic scored one of the great goals in a Champions League final to cancel out Cristiano Ronaldo’s opener for Real Madrid as a pulsating first half ended with the teams level at 1-1 on Saturday.

Italian champions Juve made an imposing start with three early shots fired at Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas, although Zinedine Zidane’s side took full advantage of their first opening when Ronaldo clinically side-footed home Dani Carvajal’s cut back on a counter-attack in the 20th minute.

Striker Mandzukic, formerly with Real’s city rivals Atletico Madrid, pulled Juventus level with a cracking overhead kick which flew over the outstretched Navas in the 27th minute.

Ronaldo’s goal meant he became the first player to score in three finals in the Champions League era, joining the late Real great Alfredo di Stefano by scoring in more than two European Cup finals. The Argentine, who passed away in 2014, netted in a record five finals between 1956 and 1960. (Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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