Earthquakes fall to Atletico Madrid in Candlestick finale

Earthquakes fall to Atletico Madrid in Candlestick finale
July 27, 2014, 9:30 pm
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Atletico Madrid's Saul (left) celebrates after he made the game-winning shootout goal vs. the Earthquakes. (USATSI)

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SAN FRANCISCO — Saul scored in the fifth round of penalty kicks to lift Spanish League champion Atletico Madrid past Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes after they played to a scoreless tie Sunday in the final sporting event at Candlestick Park.

Guillherme Siqueira, Gabi and Mario Suarez also scored for Atletico in the tiebreaker. Sam Cronin, Shaun Francis and Brandon Barklage countered for the Earthquakes in front of 15,558 fans at the Copa Euroamericana game.

"What I'll take away from tonight's match is that we played well and took a very good team to penalty kicks," San Jose coach Mark Watson said. "We played 90 minutes against a top team and that means a lot. We would like to be a bit more clinical with our chances, but we're focused on the overall team performance tonight against one of the top teams in the world."

Atletico captain Raul Garcia blasted a penalty kick off the post in the 41st minute. The Spanish club was given the kick after Barklage was whistled for his challenge on Mario Suarez.

Atletico won the shootout 4-3. The Madrid team won its first Spanish league title in 18 seasons this year and lost to rival Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

"I thought we played really well in the first half," Atletico coach Diego Simeone said. "There was a high rhythm and high pace to the game. The team was connecting well between the different lines. What we were lacking was finishing and putting in a goal. The second half, not so much. The intent is always there.

"Right now, we're still forming the team. The squad is not close and the transfer window is still open so it's kind of hard to say where we're at at this point. Right now, we're just calm and working hard. Once we do form the team we'll have a better idea of how we'll play."

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