The Spanish soccer champions Atlético Madrid missed the final of the national Supercup despite a curious own goal to take the lead.
Coach Diego Simeone’s team lost their semifinals in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh 1-2 (0-0) against defending champions Athletic Bilbao on Thursday. Bilbao meets record champions Real Madrid in Sunday’s final, which will be played at the same venue.
Yeray Alvarez (77′) and Nico Williams (81′), who came on eleven minutes earlier, turned the game around with a late double strike. Previously, Bilbao keeper Unai Simon Atlético had involuntarily given the lead (62nd): A ball headed by Joao Felix first bounced off the post and then rolled over the line from the back of the Spanish national goalkeeper who was lying on the ground. In added time, Atlético’s Jose Maria Gimenez saw a red card for a serious foul.
On Tuesday, record champions Real Madrid were the first team to reach the final after a Clasico victory. The La Liga leaders defeated arch-rivals FC Barcelona 3-2 after extra time in a never-ending duel.
After 2020, the Spanish Supercup winner will be sought for the second time in Saudi Arabia, 5000 kilometers away, mainly for financial reasons. The desert state is paying around 40 million euros to the Spanish football association RFEF for the tournament.