Real Madrid came from behind Tuesday to beat Sevilla 3-2 to win the UEFA Super Cup in an action-packed thriller played in Trondheim, Norway, with defender Dani Carvajal scoring a memorable goal three minutes before the end of extra time.
"It was a great feeling to score that goal," a delighted Carvajal said.
"I think we just about deserved to win, in the end. We showed a lot of spirit and character today."
Real president Florentino Perez called it "a great way for us to start the season, with another trophy.
"The boys refused to lie down and die tonight, when everything was against them," he said. "That is the spirit and the tradition of Real Madrid - to never accept defeat."
The Super Cup is the traditional curtain-raiser for the European football season, played between the winners of the Champions League and the Europa League.
It was the third consecutive all-Spanish cup and saw Real's third triumph in the competition, thanks to Carvajal's last-gasp winner.
Real went into the showpiece match without Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe, Gareth Bale and Toni Kroos, while Sevilla started with no fewer than five new signings.
In rainy Trondheim, youngster Marco Asensio gave a reserve-packed Real team an early lead with a spectacular, high left-footed drive, only for new signing Franco Vazquez to quickly level for Sevilla with a left-footed drive of his own.
Yevheniy Konoplyanka made it 2-1 to Sevilla with a cool penalty 18 minutes from the end, after Real's veteran captain Ramos had clumsily pulled down Sevilla midfielder Vitolo.
Sevilla seemed poised to hold out for the win but paid a high price for some sloppy, weary defending in injury time, when Ramos made it 2-2 by heading in a centre from the lively Lucas Vazquez.
Ramos then had what looked like a perfectly good second goal bizarrely disallowed for an alleged push on Sevilla's Adil Rami.
Sevilla had Thimothee Kolodziejczak sent off in injury time, and Carvajal hit the winner for Real just three minutes before a penalty shootout would have been necessary.
The Spain defender shook off his fatigue to break through down the right and win the match with a precise far-post drive.
"We gave away some sloppy goals tonight, it has to be said," Sevilla defender Nico Pareja said.
"All credit to Real: They are a great team. But we should have defended more solidly at the end and prevented their last two goals."
Team-mate Vitolo similarly lamented a victory that got away.
"It was agonizing to throw it away with just one minute left on the clock," he said "... We should never have let them back into the game as we did with that 2-2 equalizer."
Wednesday, September 21, 2016 - 21:56