Soccer In Radge (545 words) Essay

Soccer In RadgeALENCIA, Spain (Reuters) —
Espanyol capped its centenary
celebrations by winning the Spanish
Cup with a 2-1 victory over Atletico
Madrid on Saturday.
One of the cheekiest goals seen in
Spain all season gave the Barcelona
club an ideal start after just two
Atletico goalkeeper Toni Jimenez —
who moved to the club from Espanyol
last summer — saved a shot by Toni
Velamazan and was bouncing the ball
in front of him, ready to boot it upfield.
But then Raul Tamudo nipped in unseen, headed the ball away
from Jimenez and beat his former team mate in a sprint across
the face of the goal, turning the ball in from an narrow angle out
on the left.
Sergio Gonzalez hit Espanyol’s second goal five minutes from
time to ensure the club won its first honor for 60 years
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink pulled one back for Atletico a minute
into injury time, and Espanyol endured an anxious couple of
minutes as the clocked ticked away, but it was too little too late.
Espanyol ecstasy
For Espanyol supporters, it brought a huge smile to their faces
after a decade of despair.
They were relegated twice during the 1990s and even had to
sell their ground — the historic Sarria stadium — in 1997 to solve
a cash crisis.
However Espanyol’s veteran defender Nando Munoz put the
emotions of all those involved with the club into words.
This might be the greatest day in the history of Espanyol. This
is for all those fans and everyone else who can remember the
bad times — all those dire moments, Nando said.
Nando had recovered enough breath to speak to Spanish to
reporters because he had been given his marching orders 13
minutes from time after picking up two yellow cards in quick
succession while Espanyol fought to contain a second half
Atletico comeback.
Atletico attack
The first half belonged to Espanyol, with Tamudo and
Velamazan causing plenty of problems for the Atletico
defenders and Moises Arteaga slicing through the middle, but
the second period saw Atletico strive for an equalizer.
Hasselbaink was a constant threat, although Espanyol
defenders did a good job of soaking up the pressure, and his
closest efforts came from edge-of-the-area free kicks.
After Nando left the field, Espanyol looked briefly in trouble, but
both teams ended the match with 10 men after former Spanish
international defender Santi Denia lost control completely
seven minutes from time.
Denia scythed down Manuel Serrano from the rear and then
headbutted Toni Velamazan.
Sergio’s clincher came two minutes later.
He controlled a long, speculative, ball forward with his head
and then blasted the half-volley past the hapless Jimenez, who
left the field inconsolable.
Football just isn’t fair, Jimenez wailed, with tears streaming
down his face.
Jimenez was not the only Atletico player to leave the field with
moist eyes.
The cup final defeat, their second in successive years after
losing 3-0 to Valencia last year, brought an end to one of the
worst season’s in club history.
Atletico was relegated and will spend next season in the
Spanish second division for the first time since 1934.
A damaging government investigation into the club finances
also left the club badly demoralized on and off the field.
The cup final is likely to be the last match that many players,
including Hasselbaink, have in an Atletico jersey, with a
massive exodus anticipated.
One of the cheekiest goals seen in
Spain all season gave the Barcelona
club an ideal start after just two
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