Real Madrid win Supercup

Madrid, August 25:

Real Madrid won the Spanish Supercup for the first time since 2003 with a 4-2 win at home over Valencia with goals by Ruud van Nistelrooy, Sergio Ramos, Ruben de la Red and Gonzalo Higuian.

The Spanish champions headed into the return leg of the tournament — which is contested each year between the league champions and the winners of the King’s Cup — with a 3-2 deficit.

Valencia midfielder David Silva, who helped Spain to win Euro 2008, opened the scoring in the 32nd minute with an accurate shot that slipped in the left side of the net as Real keeper Iker Casillas looked on helplessly. Real striker van Nistelrooy equalised four minutes into the second half with a penalty kick that slid past the right side of Valencia goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand. The Spanish champions were awarded the penalty due to a goal-line incident involving Valencia defender Raul Albiol.

Real Madrid took the lead in the 77th minute with a confusing and contested goal by defender Sergio Ramos from close range. De la Reg scored in the 85th minute from 35-yard with Higuain adding the club’s fourth goal three minutes later. Morientes managed to score a second for Valencia in the dying minutes of the match following a pass from David Villa.

Players and observed a minute of silence before the start of the match as a mark of respect for the 154 people who died after a Spanair jet crashed on Wednesday at Madrid airport shortly after takeoff.

Real coach Bernd Schuster was without a number of players. Midfielder Wesley Sneijder, defender Fabio Cannavaro, striker Javier Saviola and defenders Michel Salgado and Christoph Metzelder missed the match due to injury. Argentine midfielder Fernando Gago and Brazilian defender Marcelo were absent due to their participation at the Olympics in China for their national squads.