Spirit the key to Real's dramatic Super Cup win: Zidane

Dani Carvajal (in white) scoring the winning goal in Real Madrid's 3-2 extra-time victory against Sevilla in the Super Cup match in Trondheim, Norway on Tuesday.
Dani Carvajal (in white) scoring the winning goal in Real Madrid's 3-2 extra-time victory against Sevilla in the Super Cup match in Trondheim, Norway on Tuesday.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

TRONDHEIM • Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane lauded his side's never-say-die attitude after seeing them claim a dramatic Super Cup win over Sevilla.

Real looked dead and buried as they trailed 1-2 deep into stoppage time in Trondheim, but Sergio Ramos' equaliser sent the match to extra time when Dani Carvajal scored a stunning late goal to give the Champions League winners victory over the Europa League holders 3-2 in Norway, on Tuesday.

Zidane said afterwards: "In football you never know what's going to happen. The good thing about tonight is that we knew it was going to be difficult, but we never gave up.

"They got ahead in a key part of the game, but we never gave up and Sergio's goal in the last minute brought us back to life."

He added: "Second title (as Real coach), first of this season and I'm very happy with the effort the guys have made."

Real, who were without Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Toni Kroos, had taken a 21st-minute lead through a superb goal from the 20-year-old Marco Asensio but Sevilla were back on terms just before the break through Franco Vazquez.

Sevilla went ahead with 18 minutes left when Yevhen Konoplyanka slotted home from the penalty spot after Vitolo had been tripped by Ramos.

That looked to have won Sevilla the title but Ramos made amends for his foul by heading home in stoppage time, and then full-back Carvajal proved an unlikely winner with a last-gasp solo goal sealing a 3-2 victory.

The former Sevilla defender Ramos, who also scored a stoppage-time equaliser in the 2014 Champions League final against Atletico Madrid before his side went on to win 4-1 in extra time, said on his club's website: "It's incredible. Until the final whistle goes you need to continue fighting because by fighting to the end you get your rewards.

"More than anything you need to highlight the collective work of the team and its fight. The team, despite the players missing, have shown what they are about here and to start the season with a title is always incredible."

The new Sevilla coach, Jorge Sampaoli, whose side lost Timothee Kolodziejczak to a red card in extra time, said: "I'm proud of the way we played.

"Without much time to work together, this team showed courage against the champions of Europe."

The Europa League holders, who have now lost three Super Cups in succession, do not have much time to dwell on the crushing loss as they play the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona on Sunday.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 11, 2016, with the headline 'Spirit the key to Real's dramatic Super Cup win: Zidane'. Print Edition | Subscribe