Hany Mukhtar sent the MLS All-Stars to victory over the Liga MX All-Stars in the MLS Skills Challenge presented by AT&T 5G at Allianz Field on Wednesday, as the Nashville SC star hit a dramatic walk-off in the Crossbar Challenge presented by GilletteLabs that delivered a 3-2 victory.
MLS also won the Shooting Challenge presented by AT&T 5G and Touch Challenge presented by Old Spice to take an early 2-0 lead in the matchup that was decided by players competing in five different competitions. After Liga MX responded with victories in the Cross and Volley Challenge presented by AT&T 5G and the Passing Challenge presented by BOUNTY, Mukhtar delivered the decisive blow with his successful shot at the crossbar as both sides frantically pressed for the winner. The event also came down to the Crossbar Challenge in 2019 and 2021.
Here's your full breakdown of all of the action at Allianz.
They bested Liga MX’s trio of Germán Berterame (35), Uriel Antuna (12) and Julian Quinones (27).
Mukhtar was the star of the show in the Touch Challenge, walking off a 106-68 victory with a huge 80-point effort in the final round that erased a 68-26 deficit.
Liga MX struck back for their first win of the night in the Cross and Volley competition, taking a 140-75 victory thanks to a clutch 60-point second round from Aviles Hurtado.
FC Cincinnati forward Brandon Vazquez put up 30 for MLS in the second round, which allowed Vega's 60 points to comfortably put Liga MX in a victorious position with a flurry of finishes against NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson. His last attempt was a sizzling volley that won the fan vote (67%) that awarded Liga MX an additional 20 points.
Liga MX would then tie it up after coasting to victory in the Passing Challenge, as German Berterame and Luis Chavez each ended their rounds with dead-eye strikes into the Bounty target.
Berterame faced off against Reynoso in the first round, while Chavez was contested by Herrera.
The 2-2 split over the first four events set up a dramatic finish in the Crossbar Challenge, which saw Mukhtar lead the way once again.
Chicharito, Vazquez and Ferreira were the trio that finished the initial slate by hitting three crossbar shots in Zone 1 (top of the 18-yard-box), unlocking the opportunity for the Nashville star to hit the victory ball in Zone 2, 40 yards away from goal.
Liga MX reached Zone 2 shortly after, resulting in both sides frantically pressing for the long-distance winner, with goalkeepers Sean Johnson and Dayne St. Clair joining forces with the attacker to tee up the long-distance attempts for the MLS side. After several excruciating near-misses, Mukhtar sent his All-Star teammates and the Allianz Field crowd into a frenzy as he converted the winning strike.
For the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge, both sides played on behalf of two local organizations. MLS represented Special Olympics Minnesota while Liga MX played for The Sanneh Foundation.
Both organizations went home with $25,000 to support their respective programs in the community, with the checks being presented after the event by Minnesota United All-Star goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair.