Teen magic steers Real to victory in Bruges

Vinicius Junior (right) celebrates scoring his goal with teammates. (AP pic)

BRUGES: Brazilian teenagers Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior were on target as Real Madrid secured a 3-1 victory at Club Bruges to end their Champions League Group A campaign on a positive note at the Jan Breydelstadion on Wednesday.

Luka Modric added a superb late third for Real, who were already assured of second place in the group and a place in the knockout stages before the start of the game.

Bruges are third in the group and will drop into the Europa League after Hans Vanaken scored their lone goal.

Real coach Zinedine Zidane made eight changes from the side that drew 2-2 with Paris St Germain in the previous matchday, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Sergio Ramos all missing.

Bruges were almost rewarded for their bright start when Real goalkeeper Alphonse Areola made an excellent point-blank save to deny Percy Tau.

At the other end, Simon Mignolet was equally athletic to keep out an effort from Luka Jovic, the latter part of a youthful Real front three that also included Rodrygo, 18, and Vinicius, 19.

The visitors went ahead on 53 minutes when Alvaro Odriozola’s cross was brilliantly volleyed into the bottom corner of the goal by Rodrygo, but that lead lasted only two minutes as Bonaventure set up Vanaken to curl home an equaliser.

Real hit the front again midway through the second period with an untidy goal as the ball ricocheted to Vinicius six yards out and his deflected shot earned him his first Champions League goal, before Modric curled in a late insurance strike.