Athletic Bilbao’s Nico Williams scores their second goal past Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak in Riyadh on Jan. 13, 2022. (REUTERS/Albert Gea)
- The Basque side fought back from a goal down, with 19-year-old winger Nico Williams bagging the winner against Atletico Madrid in Riyadh
RIYADH: A late winner gave Athletic Bilbao a 2-1 victory over Atletico Madrid at King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh on Thursday in the second semi-final of the Spanish Super Cup.
Bilbao, who defeated Barcelona in Seville to lift the Super Cup last year, now face Real Madrid in the final on Sunday, where they will be aiming to win back-to-back titles for the first time.
Substitute Nico Williams scored the late winner for Bilbao on 81 minutes, after which the 19-year-old winger received a long hug from veteran forward Inaki Williams, his teammate and brother. The goal completed the Bilbao’s comeback just four minutes after Yeray Alvarez pulled the Basque side level.
The game had been deadlocked for more than an hour, with little to separate the teams, before a stroke of luck gave Atletico Madrid the lead after 62 minutes. A header from Portuguese forward Joao Felix hit the post, before bouncing off the back of diving Bilbao goalkeeper Unai Simon and into the net.
As Bilbao fought hard to get back into the game, Atletico’s Slovenian goalkeeper Jan Oblak — know as “Jump Jump” by the Slovenian press for his extraordinary agility — blocked shot after shot before the tide began to turn.
The defeat is another setback for manager Diego Simeone’s team, who are already facing a tough season and appear unlikely to be able to successfully defend their La Liga title.
Real Madrid beat Barcelona 3-2 in extra time on Wednesday in the first semi-final to book their place in the final.