Athletic come from behind to beat Atletico in Supercup semifinal

Sports Desk, Jan 13 (EFE).- Athletic Club earned the chance to defend their Spanish Supercup title with a 2-1 comeback victory over Atletico Madrid in Thursday’s semifinal at King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh.

The Colchoneros led 1-0 heading into the last 15 minutes of regulation, but conceded twice in four minutes to put the Bilbao side in the final against Real Madrid, who nipped Barcelona 3-2 in extra time on Wednesday in a Clasico worthy of the name.

The clash between the Supercup holders and last season’s LaLiga champions – they trail current leaders Real Madrid by 16 points – began promisingly, as Joao Felix beat Unai Simon just 12 seconds into the match, only to see the goal disallowed for an offside.

Angel Correa forced a stop from Simon in the fifth minute, five minutes before Atletico keeper Jan Oblak denied Iñaki Williams.

The pace slowed considerably and the only other occasion of the first half was a Yannick Carrasco effort in the 40th minute that Simon handled comfortably.

The deadlock persisted until the 61st minute, when Simon inadvertently put the ball in his own net while attempting to deal with Felix’s header.

Iñigo Martinez would have equalized three minutes later if not for a tremendous goal-line save by Oblak, who soon afterward batted away a potent volley from Iñaki Williams.

The Atletico keeper couldn’t do anything in the 77th minute to stop Yeray Alvarez’s header off a corner. The energized Bilbao squad won another corner with nine minutes left in regulation and Nico Williams made it 2-1.

Atleti failed to mount an effective reaction and ended the game with 10 men after Jose Maria Gimenez picked up a straight red card in the 94th minute. EFE sej/dr

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