Historic Matches - Supercopa 2002

DATE: Sunday 25 August, 2002

EVENT: Deportivo win their second Spanish Supercopa after beating champions Valencia twice.

On 21 April, 2002 the chances of Deportivo winning the Liga disappeared that day after an unlucky 1-0 loss at Valencia. A Duscher own-goal made the gap between both teams too big to overcome during the three remaining matches, but fortunately the Galicians were capable of clinching the second place during the final match of the season against rivals Real Madrid (3-0).

Two months earlier the team from the capital suffered one of their biggest frustrations of their 100-years of history when Deportivo beat them 1-2 in the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, precisely on their birthday. It concerned the final of the Copa del Rey, and so Deportivo 'qualified' to play the Supercopa that summer against the Liga champions: Valencia.

The harsh Liga confrontation of April might have caused some extra motivation to win this trophy, while both clubs already had a tradition of crucial clashes. In 1994 Valencia had spoiled the Liga win of Deportivo, while one year later the men of Arsenio Iglesias conquered their first ever trophy (the Copa del Rey) against Valencia.

Deportivo won their annual Teresa Herrera tournament one week before the first meeting with Valencia in Riazor, and had signed Jorge Andrade and 'Toro' Acuña that summer. Albert Luque was bought in the week after the Supercopa return match, but negotiations had been going on for a while. 'Toro' Acuña was suspended for some weeks because of a nasty incident after the relegation of Zaragoza, while Djorovic and Tristán were out injured.

The match in Riazor saw Valencia having a good chance through Rufete, but the dominating home team were 3-0 up after just 31 minutes. Valerón, Ví­ctor Sánchez and Naybet scored the goals which almost certainly guaranteed Deportivo a safe return match one week later at Mestalla. Irureta commented that "this is an important result, but nothing is decided yet. There still is much work to do at Mestalla".

There was an incident concerning controversial Valencia goalkeeper Cañizares near the end of the match, as he claimed he had been struck by an object thrown from the crowd and after the match was over refused to leave the pitch without an escort. The incident caused a lot of remarks from both camps between the matches.

For example, Valencia striker Angulo said that "In La Coruña they are only saying stupid things. Their aim is to destabilize our team, but we should be focussed on winning this match by three goals". Angulo also referred to Aldo Duscher, who had mentioned that Cañizares hade made some fine theatre in Riazor. "Duscher should concentrate on playing on Sunday, and let the others live in peace". After many other accusations from both camps, Irureta commented that "Valencia have done everything to heat up their own supporters against us. But I expect them to behave in a fair way".

RETURN MATCH IN MESTALLA So it promised to be a tense return match on 25 August, 2002, and it became one. After just two minutes Valencia defender Ayala was sent off when he deliberately elbowed Roy Makaay in the face. Referee Iturralde consulted the fourth official, showed Ayala the red card and 32,000 supporters at Mestalla exploded of anger. But more was to come this match.

When Aimar blocked Molina from throwing a ball, Molina pulled the Argentinean player by his start and another brawl had started. The Valencia crowd also had started to roar, and were throwing objects on the pitch. The police had to prevent supporters coming on the pitch, and had to intervene on the stands to quiet things down.

With ten players left Valencia still desperately tried to score, but they couldn't create much. More of this in the second half, although the home team became tired and had to use fouls to prevent Deportivo from playing. The match looked to be heading towards a 0-0 final score, until Ví­ctor Sánchez chipped the ball over Cañizares in injury-time to complete a 4-0 aggregate win.

Outside the stadium it came to clashes between the Valencia radical supporters of Yomus and the police, who even had to call in reinforcements. Javier Irureta explained that all the tension had started last week. "And after Ayala was sent off, the match became very rough. But in the end our win was justified, as we had more chances than they created. And because of our own effort we have won the Supercopa this year".

President Lendoiro labelled the incidents "bad for football, and the presidents of the clubs should control this. I speak with sadness about this on a day which should be nice for us. Still I'm satisfied with our win, and fortunately the first prize of the season goes to La Coruña. For me it has much value, and now we should celebrate it as we are Superchampions of Spain".

Hundreds of Deportivo supporters did so at Cuatro Caminos in La Coruña with flags and shawls, and sang several songs 'dedicated' to Cañizares. The win of Deportivo was their sixth official title, and curious enough the team had won all the finals it had played until then.

Molina - Romero, César Martí­n (71' Jorge Andrade), Naybet, Lionel Scaloni - Fran (68' Duscher), Mauro Silva, Sergio, Ví­ctor Sánchez, Valerón (79' Djalminha) - Makaay
Valencia: Cañizares - Carboni, Ayala, Pellegrino, Curro Torres - Vicente, Marchena (75' Juan Sánchez), De los Santos (46' Baraja), Rufete (46' Carew), Aimar - Angulo
Goals: 1-0: (12') Valerón, 2-0: (21') Ví­ctor Sánchez, 3-0: (31') Naybet Referee: Mejuto González. He showed yellow cards to Mauro Silva, Romero, Ví­ctor Sánchez (Deportivo) and to Carboni, De los Santos, Baraja and Curro Torres (Valencia)
Attendance: 28,000 (Riazor)

Cañizares - Fabio Aurelio, Ayala, Pellegrino, Curro Torres - Vicente (70' Carboni), Marchena (46' Rufete), Baraja, Angulo, Aimar (75' Sánchez) - Salva
Deportivo: Molina - Romero, Naybet, César Martí­n, Lionel Scaloni - Fran (70' Capdevila), Mauro Silva, Sergio, Ví­ctor Sánchez, Valerón (73' Duscher) - Makaay (85' Pandiani)
Goals: 0-1: (90'+1) Ví­ctor Sánchez.
Referee: Iturralde González. He showed yellow cards to Fabio Aurelio, Aimar and Marchena (Valencia) and to Fran and Mauro Silva (Deportivo). Ayala was sent off after 2 minutes.
Attendance: 32,000 (Mestalla)