RALEIGH — The red and white stripes on the shirts of the Chivas de Guadalajara team and supporters fit into the color scheme at Carter-Finley Stadium.
Whether or not the "beautiful game" was at home in N.C. State's football stadium was more of an open question.
On the field, Juventus used an early goal by Fabio Quagliarella to beat Chivas 1-0 in the World Football Challenge on a warm Thursday night. Chivas had possession of the ball for much of the second half, but it didn't have much luck creating many dangerous opportunities against Juventus' defense.
Bolstered by a sizeable contingent of Chivas fans wearing their favorite team's jerseys, the lower section of one side of the Carter-Finley was mostly full, with attendance announced as 16,124. Beforehand, organizers said 25,000-30,000 would qualify the night as a clear success.
"It was a solid attendance for a mid-week game," said Marisabel Munoz, director of international communications for Major League Soccer, which partnered with Creative Artists Agency to present the game. "I think this was a good turnout for a new market. We look forward to coming back."
Juventus has an illustrious history, having won 27 league titles in its history. While it has fallen on hard times following a match-fixing scandal in the mid-2000s, the team still features the likes of Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Pirlo and Alessandro Del Piero in its trademarked black-and-white striped jerseys.
Of its most-recognizable names, only Luca Toni started against Chivas. Yet the Italian squad still struck in the 12th minute when Quagliarella took advantage of a slip by Chivas defender Jonny Magallon. Magallon whiffed on a clearing attempt just outside of the penalty box, allowing Quagliarella to take control of the ball and drive it past Chivas keeper Michel Luis' outstretched right foot.
On the other end, Chivas couldn't muster many quality chances against Juventus keeper Marco Storari. Jorge Armando Mora did unleash a powerful free kick off the post in the 80th minute from some 35 yards out, but that was as close as Chivas came to scoring.
With the win in hand, it seems Juventus' only complaint was the stifling heat.
"Certainly the only disadvantage of playing in such a beautiful facility was the heat," Juventus manager Antonio Conte said through a translator. "The facility is quite lovely -- the pitch was amazing with the exception of certain patches on the flank.
"It's great because the intimacy of the fans with respect to the players is quite nice. It's very important for the players to feel the heat of the fans and the crowd being excited while playing here. ... We're very, very pleased to play here -- with the exception of the heat, which was more than we expected in our preseason training."
Juventus didn't play Buffon, its famous keeper who helped lead Italy to the 2006 World Cup and is considered one of the finest keepers in the world.
Pirlo came on in the 60th minute to a large round of applause from the crowd; Del Piero did the same in the 70th.
Alberto Medina, a long-time Chivas standout and member of the Mexican national team, was probably the highest profile member of Chivas to start.
The press box also had more of an international feel than the average N.C. State game -- there with as much Italian and Spanish to be heard as English.