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REVIEW: ATLETICO 3 (7) – SPORTING 3 (6) (TERESA HERRERA)

18 Aug 2008
Atl?©tico Madrid advanced to the final of the Teresa Herrera although the Madrilenian squad wasted a 3-1 advantage during the second half. Javier Aguirre’s squad needed the penalties in order to reach the final. Now they will face Deportivo, while Sporting plays against Cruz Azul searching the third place of the tournament.

BEFORE THE GAME
Only 2,000 spectators attended to the Riazor, the weather conditions complicated the situation as it started to rain minutes before the kick-off. Atletico presented a mix between normal starters, bench players and B squad members, it was clear that Javier Aguirre was more worried of the returning leg in Champions League against Schalke 04. Maniche was even returning after eight months sidelined by the Mexican coach. Meanwhile Sporting Gij??n was presenting his new goalkeeper: Iv??n Cuellar, who curiously is coming from Atl?©tico Madrid.

THE MATCH
Despite the poor attendance, the game was more fluid than the one of Deportivo. Both teams were very offensive and the occasions to score started to flow since the first minutes. First it was Michel with a shot that passed near to the post, but Atletico replied with a header from Maniche that meant the first goal of the match. Gerard equalised a few minutes later after he took advantage of an error in a corner-kick.

The Asturians, leaded by Diego Castro, were the best side on the pitch, but they didn’t know how to take advantage of their chances. Castro had two consecutive opportunities, first with a header that went over the crossbar and later with a shot that Coupet deflected and that Pedro couldn’t capitalise.

Keeper Cuellar made a nice job when he stopped Maniche in a one-to-one action, but he failed in a header of Luis Garc?­a at the middle of the first half, in this way the Madrilenians were winning the match at half-time. Just like it happened in the game between Depor and Cruz Azul, the best side on the pitch was losing the encounter after the first 45 minutes.

Sporting improved during the second half and they clearly deserved the equaliser, instead Diego Costa scored the third goal for Atl?©tico after a sequence between Maniche and Forl??n. It seemed the match would end like this, but the Asturians never surrender and they equalised the game within the final ten minutes. The hero was David Barral, player that scored the second goal with a powerful shot and that later fell down in the penalty zone. Referee Iglesias Villanueva called the penalty and Barral himself scored the third goal for his side. Therefore the game had to be defined in the penalties series. Both teams needed nine series in order to define the winner and it was Atl?©tico Madrid who achieved the pass after Ra??l C??mara failed the last penalty.

AFTER THE GAME
Sporting deserved better luck in this game, it was the superior side, but it was Atl?©tico Madrid who took a comfortable lead during the second half. However the Asturians were able to achieve a comeback during the final ten minutes though it wasn’t enough to earn the pass to the final. Now Atl?©tico Madrid and Deportivo will decided the winner of the Teresa Herrera tournament 2008. The final will be played on this day (21h00). Before that encounter, Sporting Gij??n will meet Cruz Azul in the third place game (18h30).

MATCH STATISTICS
Atl?©tico Madrid: Coupet - Valera, Pablo Ib???±ez, Dom?­nguez, Pern?­a – Camacho - Cl?©ber Santana, Maniche, De las Cuevas (Diego Costa 61’) - Luis Garc?­a (Cedric 80’), Forl??n.
Sporting Gij??n: Cuellar - C??mara, Gerard (Iv??n Hern??ndez 79’), Neru, Canella - Matabuena, M?­chel - Pedro (Maldonado 65’), Kike Mateo (Barral 72’), Castro - Bilic.
Goals: 1-0:  (8’) Maniche, 1-1: (10’) Gerard, 2-1: (31’) Luis Garc?­a, 3-1: (80’) Diego Costa, 3-2: (81’) Barral. 3-3: (89’) Barral (penalty).
Penalties: Forl??n, Maniche, Cl?©ber Santana, Camacho, Valera, Pablo Ib???±ez and Dom?­nguez scored for Atletico. Pern?­a and Diego Costa failed. Diego Castro, Maldonado, Barral, Michel, Matabuena and Canella scored for Sporting. Bilis, Iv??n Hern??ndez and C??mara failed.
Referee: Iglesias Villanueva. He showed yellow card to Valera (13’) and  M?­chel (64’).
Venue: Riazor (2,000).

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