Villarreal’s Mandi hands Atletico Madrid draw with own goal in extra time

Madrid, Aug 29 (EFE).- With just two goals from its only two shots-on-goal, Villarreal on Sunday looked poised to defeat La Liga champs Atletico Madrid until the very last moment of the match when Aissa Mandi attempted to head the ball back to Geronimo Rulli in the net to clear but surprising the mispositioned goaltender and scoring an own-goal, handing the capital squad a 2-2 draw.

It was the 95th minute when the referee was on the verge of sounding the final whistle, when Mandi tried to do the easiest thing to clear the ball away from the Villarreal net, knocking it back to Rulli. The netminder could not react in time, however, and instead of the visiting squad pocketing three points at Wanda Metropolitano before 26,840 fans, they had to content themselves with just one, dealing one to Madrid in the process.

Diego Simeone’s men had begun the season with consecutive wins, to Villarreal’s two draws, but they had trouble on Sunday with the determined counterattack mounted by the visitors, although the first tally did not come until seven minutes into the second half, when Manu Trigueros took a lovely pass from Yeremi Pino and sank it with a nice shot.

Atletico waited only three minutes to equalize after a bad throw-in, when Correa captured the ball on the right and fired it to Luis Suarez, who neatly found the twine.

Unai Emery’s squad wanted the win, however, sensing that they had a great chance of picking off Simeone’s team for the first time ever, and it was Pino again hitting his man at the right time, Danjuma in this case after taking advantage of a defensive mistake by Madrid to send the ball to the edge of the box, where the waiting striker shot the ball unstoppably past Jan Oblak for the 1-2.

Villarreal held on and Madrid could not seem to get anything going as regular time lapsed and extra time ticked down, but then things fell apart for the road team with Mandi’s attempt to head a crossing shot back to Rulli, who – unaccountably – was not in position and the ball rolled inexorably and agonizingly into the net for the 2-2.


Atletico de Madrid: Oblak; Trippier, Savic, Gimenez (Lodi, m. 86), Hermoso (Kondogbia, m. 79), Carrasco (De Paul, m. 69); Llorente, Koke, Lemar (Matheus Cunha, m. 79); Correa, Luis Suarez (Saul, m. 69).

Villarreal: Rulli; Foyth, Albiol, Mandi, Estupiñan (Danjuma, m. 61); Yeremi Pino (Mario Gaspar, m. 79), Trigueros, Capoue, Alberto Moreno (Pedraza, m. 61); Gerard Moreno, Dia (Coquelin, m. 61).


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