Missed penalties by Adrián and Diego Godín in the shoot-out following full time cost Atlético a bid for their seventh Trofeo Teresa Herrera.
The annual summer event hosted by last season’s Segunda División champions Deportivo de la Coruña was a back-and-forth affair that finished 2-2 in regulation time.
Deportivo got off to a fast start when ex-Atleti man Juan Carlos Valerón smacked home a rebound created by Thibaut Courtois’ save of a shot by Riki in the seventh minute.
Lax defending by Filipe Luís, Miranda and Godín, who better shape up quickly if we don’t want to be routed out of Levante for the third straight season, resulted in Riki’s close range effort that was ultimately tucked in by Valerón.
But Diego Simeone’s men struck back just three minutes later when Koke snuck a low shot under the outstretched left arm of Depor goalkeeper Aranzubia.
The pass came in from former Deportivo man Adrián, who the boo birds at the Riazor aimed their jeers at whenever he was in possession.
Our ‘Perfect 7’ hit a ball in from the right-wing intended for Falcao. The Colombian played the dummy, letting the ball get past him for Koke to strike.
Moments later, Mario Suárez was denied when he headed Filipe’s cross goalwards from very close range that Aranzubia did well to reflexively put his fists to.
Atleti continued to threaten, particularly from the right flank through an inspired Juanfran. The former Osasuna man clearly has the edge over Sílvio to start in next weekend’s La Liga opener in Levante.
In the final minute of the first half, Falcao blasted a shot into the crossbar after executing an exquisite pull-back-and-spin move like on his second goal in the Europa League final against Athletic Bilbao.
The start of the second half saw Arda come close to putting us ahead, but his shot veered left and into the side netting.
Depor took the lead in the 55th minute when Courtois fumbled away a cross into the box. Pizzi, who traded in his red stripes for blue ones over the summer, was there to recover the loose ball dropped by Thibaut, but his shot was blocked by Filipe.
Unfortunately, Bruno Gama was well-placed for the deflection and fired away past a helpless Courtois to put the home side ahead 2-1.
‘El Cholo’s’ men subsequently took control of the game, charging forward looking for the equaliser but to no avail.
There was a bit of controversy in the 78th minute when, after some sweetly-designed set piece work by Atleti executed to perfection led to Adrián taking a tumble inside the box, but referee Miguel Ángel Pérez Lasa wasn’t buying, much to the dismay of our players.
The night was looking grim for the Rojiblanco faithful, but ‘El Tigre’ came through to level the scoreline in the 87th minute, pushing in Adrián’s blocked shot to make it 2-2.
The ref blew the final whistle and the clash headed into PKs, where we lost 4-3 following misses by Adrián (crossbar) and Godín (bar across town).
The Teresa Herrera stayed at home at the Riazor.
Simeone will want to clean up his squad’s defensive errors prior to our trip to Valencia next Sunday.
You can see a play-by-play account of the shoot-out on our Twitter account here.
Line-up: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Filipe; Mario (56″ Tiago), Gabi (68″ Raúl García); Koke (58″ Cebolla), Adrián, Arda; Falcao.
Goals: 1-0 (7″ Valerón); 1-1 (10″ Koke); 2-1 (55″ Gama); 2-2 (87″ Falcao)