The Real thing! Madrid clinch Spanish Super Cup in Jeddah nailbiter

1 / 8
Real were victorious on penalties to win the Super Cup. (Arab News photo by Ali Khamg)
2 / 8
Real were victorious on penalties to win the Super Cup. (Arab News photo by Ali Khamg)
3 / 8
Real were victorious on penalties to win the Super Cup. (Arab News photo by Ali Khamg)
4 / 8
Real were victorious on penalties to win the Super Cup. (Arab News photo by Ali Khamg)
5 / 8
Real were victorious on penalties to win the Super Cup. (Arab News photo by Ali Khamg)
6 / 8
Real were victorious on penalties to win the Super Cup. (Arab News photo by Ali Khamg)
7 / 8
Real were victorious on penalties to win the Super Cup. (Arab News photo by Ali Khamg)
8 / 8
Real were victorious on penalties to win the Super Cup. (Arab News photo by Ali Khamg)
Short Url
Updated 13 January 2020

The Real thing! Madrid clinch Spanish Super Cup in Jeddah nailbiter

  • Real win on penalties to lift the trophy for the 11th time
  • Thibaut Courtois saved a penalty in a tense finale at the King Abdullah Stadium in Jeddah

JEDDAH: It took them more than two hours of football and a nail-biting penalty shootout, but they did it — Real Madrid won the Spanish Super Cup in thrilling fashion on Sunday night in Jeddah.

Two imperious goalkeepers came out on top during a goalless final at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium, but Belgian Courtois proved decisive, saving Thomas Partey’s penalty after Saul Niguez had already hit the post.

 

Sergio Ramos tucked away the winning spot-kick to ensure Real Madrid clinched their first trophy of the season, with La Liga and the Champions League next in their sights.

Atletico might have won it in extra-time when Alvaro Morata went through one-on-one but Real’s Federico Valverde took a red card in exchange for cynically fouling the striker from behind.

Victory maintains Zinedine Zidane’s spotless record as a coach in finals. He has now led Madrid to success in three of three Champions League, two each in the Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup, and now one in the Spanish Super Cup.

Ramos had been guilty of sloppiness early on and Atletico should have capitalized. The defender played a pass straight to Joao Felix on the edge of the area but Felix dragged wide and then Ferland Mendy gave the ball away carelessly, only for Morata to look for contact from Courtois and a penalty when there was neither.

Both teams had good chances to win it late on, with Luka Jovic’s deflected cross finding Valverde free five yards out only for the midfielder’s header to hit his own knee before drifting harmlessly over.

Saudi Arabia will host the Super Cup, in its new four-team format, for the next three years.




 (Arab News photo by Ali Khamg)


Amaala lift champion trophy in Saudi Arabia’s first-ever desert polo tournament

Updated 19 January 2020

Amaala lift champion trophy in Saudi Arabia’s first-ever desert polo tournament

  • Amaala earned the bragging rights as the 2020, and inaugural, AlUla Desert Polo champions

JEDDAH: Renowned Argentine polo player Nacho Figueras scored all his side’s goals as Amaala hammered out an emphatic 7-3 victory over host team AlUla to win the Kingdom’s first-ever desert polo tournament on Saturday at AlUla UNESCO heritage site.

Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki bin Faisal, chairman of the General Sports Authority, presented the trophy to Amaala after the final.

The event forms part of Winter at Tantora festival, featuring international polo players, who had the experience of playing on compacted desert sand instead of grass amid the stunning surroundings at AlUla.

The Royal Commission of AlUla organized the three-day tournament in cooperation with the newly formed Saudi Polo Federation.

In winning the tournament, Amaala earned the bragging rights as the 2020, and inaugural, AlUla Desert Polo champions.

Players from all over the world took part, including team members from the world famous La Dolfina polo outfit from Argentina, including Adolfo Cambiaso, Pelon Stirling and Pablo Mac Donough.

In the match for third place, Al Nahla Bentley defeated Team Richard Mille 4-2 with Sheikha Alya Maktoum scoring a hat trick of goals.

Figueras said: “It’s an amazing place with an amazing history, an amazing heritage and an amazing first tournament for the Saudi Polo Federation. I’m very honored to be here and I’m delighted that we were able to win.

“This country is going through a transformation and there are amazing years to come.”

Mac Donough added: “For us it was a completely new place; polo-wise Saudi Arabia wasn’t something we were doing before. Having the chance to come to such an amazing country and having the chance to play a tournament and promote the sport, all this makes us feel very proud and we hope we can continue it.”

Saudi Polo Federation chairman, Amr F. Zedan, who played for Team Richard Mille during the tournament, said: “I see this event as a launching pad for the future. We have big plans for polo in Saudi Arabia that include the establishment of development programs and the construction of facilities to assist in building a polo infrastructure in The Kingdom.”

Amr Madani, CEO of the Royal Commission of AlUla, said: “Our tourism strategy for AlUla has been built around certain anchors — heritage, culture, nature and arts. Equestrianism has always been a key industry for us, and the surroundings here make AlUla one of the best locations to ride horses.”