Godin hits winner for Atletico against Spurs in Australia


Melbourne (AFP) – Spain’s Atletico Madrid beat England’s Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 in their International Champions Cup pre-season match in Melbourne with their goalkeeper Jan Oblak pulling off two magical saves on Friday.

Uruguayan defender Diego Godin scored the winner five minutes before halftime and the Atletico defence kept out Spurs in the second half.

Skipper Gabi’s free-kick was flicked on, allowing Godin to tap home from close range at the far post.

Spurs, who lost their opening ICC game 2-1 to Italian champions Juventus on Tuesday, came close a couple of times but were denied by magnificent shot-stopping from Slovenian goalkeeper Oblak.

Oblak, who kept 24 clean sheets for Atletico in last season’s La Liga, pulled off a point-blank reflex save to block a scorching shot from Ryan Mason midway through the second half.

And minutes later he kept out new Dutch signing Vincent Janssen’s curling free kick with his right hand to again deny Spurs.

“It’s always important to get a clean sheet, but it’s football, it’s one game so it’s also important to score the goal and win the game,” Oblak said.

“Today we win again, it’s pre-season, but it’s important. We like to win, nobody wants to lose, so it’s OK.” 

In the first half, Josh Onomah and Argentinian Erik Lamela both hit the woodwork for Spurs.

It was Atletico Madrid’s first match in Australia before 42,000 fans and comes after their penalty shoot-out loss against Real Madrid in their second Champions League final in three years.

The loss was the Spurs’ second on their Australian tour but Argentine manager Mauricio Pochettino saw positives.

“It was a fantastic performance and a great experience for us. I am very happy with this young team,” Pochettino said.

“Their goalkeeper was the man of the match which says a lot. We finished the game with nine players who have come through the academy, so that was great.”

Atletico will stay in Australia and face A-League team Melbourne Victory on Sunday, while Spurs return home and play Internazionale in Norway next Friday.

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