Competition news


12 Aug 2012
Depor conquered its 17th Teresa Herrera trophy in the penalty shootout facing the last champion of the UEFA Europa League. Oltra’s team had a solid performance at the beginning of both halves, though later the team fell down.

Atletico was presenting the expected 4-3-3 formation, the novelties were at the side of Deportivo as Oltra was presenting several surprises, starting with the debut of Carlos Marchena at Deportivo, plus the presence for the first time of the couple Abel Aguilar-Juan Dominguez at midfield.

Aranzubia was at the goal, Manuel Pablo covered the right-back position, Evaldo was on the left, while Aythami joined Marchena at the centre of the defense. Abel and Dominguez were the pivotes, Bruno Gama attacked from the right wing, Pizzi did the same from the left, Valerón was the playmaker and Riki the central attacker. Before the kick-off the captains presented the cup for winning the Segunda title on the past season.

Deportivo left a positive impression within the first twenty minutes, it had the ball possession and it was looking fine before the last champion of the UEFA Europa League, but later it fell down before the pressure of the Madrilenians. Atletico was more consistent and was close to score the second goal within the last minutes of the half.

The game was moved from the kick-off; at minute 4, Pizzi threw a free-kick on the left and Valerón was close to face visiting goalie Courtois one-on-one, but Godin cleared the ball first; in the next play Arda Turan fired from the edge of the area and Aranzubia made the save, though the play was invalidated due to a previous offside.

With this in mind it wasn’t surprising to see both teams scoring once in a matter of three minutes; first the locals claimed the lead in a combinative play. Pizzi drilled a perfect pass into the area, Riki fired from the left corner of the box and Courtois made the save, but the ball stayed close to the goal line and Valerón was there to just push the ball in.

The advantage just lasted three minutes as Atletico equalized in a combination between the whole attacking line of the Madrilenians. Juanfran assisted Adrian, who ran on the left wing to end releasing a drilling cross that was going into the path of Falcao, but the Colombian striker didn’t want to touch the ball allowing the entry from behind of Jorge Resurrección Merodio ‘Koke’, and the  centre midfielder was alone enough to score the goal with a drilling shot.

Before the goals Deportivo was dominating through quick and short passes that were giving a lot of problems to the visitors, but after the equalizer Atletico balanced the game and the ball possession. At minute 17, Mario Suarez headed on target a cross of Turan and Aranzubia made a great save. Five minutes later Riki headed out a cross of Evaldo coming from the left.

Atletico looked stronger within the last fifteen minutes of the first part; the Galicians were missing a lot of passes and the defense looked insecure. Atletico, meanwhile, was pushing for the second goal mainly through Adrian, who was returning to the Riazor after his polemic exit being the most active player at his team, but also constantly whistled by the fans. At minute 32, a good cross of Kokedidn’t find a receiver inside the area and later Mario Súarez sent the ball out with a mid-range shot. At minute 37, Falcao missed a cross from the left as he was well marked by Aythami

The final two scoring opportunities in this half were for Falcao; the first one at minute 43, Koke drilled a perfect pass into the area and the Colombian was close to score from the left corner of the six-yard-box, but Aranzubia cleared the danger with the shoulder. In the next play El Tigre collected a cross from the right and released a powerful shot from inside the area after eluding Aythami and his effort hit the crossbar and was later cleared by Manuel Pablo.

It was a repetition of the first part, because Depor was once again a livid team at the start, but a squad full of doubts at the end. It was able to find the second goal early in the half and couldn’t hold on for the final harassment of Atletico. Still, the team left a positive impression.

For the second part Oltra made two changes; Diego Seoane claimed the spot of Evaldo and Roderick entered for Marchena. Manuel Pablo switched to the left-back position and Seoane covered the right side.

The beginning of the half was similar to what was sawn in the first part, both teams were trying to move the ball rapidly, but they missed the spark and therefore there wasn’t any shot on target within the first ten minutes. Still, Bruno Gama and Valerón confirmed the idea that they are the most important players at the team, while Pizzi demonstrated that he could add things to the group.

Arda Turan had the first opportunity after collecting the ball inside the area in a new distraction of the defense, but the Turkish man missed the target (46’). At minute 54, Valerón drilled a perfect pass into the path of Abel Aguilar, but the Colombian missed to define the play when he was inside the six-yard-box.

And then Depor scored its second goal. Seoane threw a high cross from the left, Courtois should have caught the ball, but somehow he could only deflect it and it went into the path of Pizzi, who fired on target, the ball it the back of a defender and it went directly into the boots of Bruno Gama, who fired a rocket into the top-left corner of Atletico’s goal.

Depor was looking better after the goal and at minute 64 Roderick sent the ball over the crossbar after a corner-kick of Pizzi. Four minutes later substitute ’Cebolla’ Rodriguez missed the target from the edge of the area in a corner-kick action for his team.

At minute 70, Arda Turan fired from the left corner of the area and Aranzubia made a great save. Atletico Madrid claimed the control of the actions for the final fifteen minutes, Deportivo was reaching the opposite area through the counterattack, but with the pass of the minutes the team became into a broken team without depth or presence at midfield. Nélson Oliveira replaced Riki, but the Portuguese barely connected with the ball

At minute 76, the Madrilenians protested a penalty over Adrian in a free-kick action of Ardan Turan, but the referee didn’t whistle anything. Then André Santos replaced Valerón, who received a standing ovation from the fans.

One of the keys to see Depor winning at this point was that Falcao was well covered, and the visitors just found the equalizer when its top.-scorer woke up. The Colombian marksman appeared for this first time in the half at minute 77 after collecting an assist of Turan, but he couldn’t resolve the play, and three minutes later he missed the target after finding the ball at the six-yard-box in a corner-kick coming from the left. It was only a warning of what he was going to do later. Álex Bergantiños replaced Juan Dominguez in the last substitution of Oltra, but Depor was still losing the battle at midfield territory.

Deportivo lost its order for the final ten minutes and it suffered before an Atletico that was looking better; and the visitors conquered the deserved equalizer three minutes before the end of the regular time. It was a free-kick action that ended with several rebounds and with Radamel Falcao firing from close range. The visitors pushed for the winning goal within the stoppage time, but there were no more scoring opportunities, so the winner the trophy was decided in the penalty shootout

Four years ago Atletico Madrid cut the streak of nine straight victories in this tournament for Depor in a definition from the penalty spot, and now the Galician outfit got its revenge as it defeated the Madrilenians in the same way and after coming from behind in the scoresheet. Pizzi and Falcao scored the first penalties, the Portuguese even scoring in the panenka style, then Courtois blocked the attempt of Nélson Oliveira.

It seemed that Atletico was going to conquer the cup as ´Cebolla’ Rodriguez and Raul Garcia scored the next penalties, but Depor stayed alive through the executions of André Santos and Bruno Gama, but then it came the key moment as Adrian threw the fourth penalty for his team. He was whistled by the fans and could only hit the crossbar.

So, the tournament was going to be defined in the last two penalties; Abel Aguilar scored for Depor with a strong shot and then the responsibility was for Diego Godin, who could only sent the ball wide to allow Depor conquered its 17th Teresa Herrera trophy.

Beyond the final result the game should boost the spirit of the fans after the doubts had throughout the pre-season; Depor was facing a European champion and brought back some of the memories from the past season with its combinative game, though Oltra’s team showed lagoons at the end of both halves. The team still needs to polish several mismatches, but at least it left the impression of been on the right track.

This game is ending the pre-season of Deportivo, now the real thing starts as the Primera tournament kicks off on next week; Deportivo La Coruña will be hosting Atletico Osasuna at the Riazor on Monday August 20th (19h00 CET).

Comments of Oltra: ”The trophy was won thanks to the effort of the players, but also for the support coming from the fans. I want to emphasize the good sensations transmitted by the team at the beginning of both parts and also because we always were a brave team. We were facing a European champion that created several opportunities. Now we need to insist with the concepts and, despite having a lot of new people, I’m sure there won’t be a problem to achieve our goals.”

Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Aranzubia – Manuel Pablo, Marchena (Roderick 46’), Aythami, Evaldo (Seoane 46’)  – Abel Aguilar, Juan Domínguez (Álex Bergantiños 84’) – Bruno Gama, Valerón (André Santos 77’), Pizzi – Riki (Oliveira 62’).
Atletico:  (4-3-3) Courtois - Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Filipe Luis - Mario Suárez (Tiago 55’), Gabi (Raúl García 67’), Koke (‘Cebolla’ Rodríguez 59’) - Adrián, Falcao, Arda Turan.
Goals: 1-0: (7’) Valerón, 1-1: (10’) Koke, 2-1: (56’) Bruno Gama, 2-2: (87’) Falcao
Penalties: 1-0: Pizzi, 1-1: Falcao, 1-1: Oliveira missed the penalty stopped by Courtois, 1-2: Rodriguez, 2-2: André Santos, 2-3: Raul Garcia, 3-3: Bruno Gama, 3-3: Adrian hit the crossbar, 4-3: Abel Aguilar, 4-3: Godin sent the ball wide.
Referee: Miguel Ángel Pérez Lasa. He showed yellow card to Marchena (16’), Pizzi (50’), Roderick (86’) and Aythami (88’)
Venue: Riazor (18,000)



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