Madrid, March 30 (IANS) Spanish club Atletico Madrid scored an 89th minute goal to take a narrow 2-1 win over Hannover in the first leg of the Europa League quarterfinal.
Eduardo Salvio scored the vital late goal when it looked as if the Spanish side would have it all to do in the second leg in Germany.
The game took place in a Vicente Calderon Stadium that was not full, partly as a result of the general strike that was held in Spain Thursday, but the Atletico players showed they were willing to roll up their sleeves and work against an always difficult German side, Xinhua reported.
Top scorer Radamal Falcao was again on target for Atletico after just nine minutes and it looked as if it would be a comfortable night for the home side, but the Spaniards seemed to lose confidence after the goal and began to defend their lead rather than look for a second goal.
They were made to pay for that after 38 minutes when Mame Diouf made it 1-1 with a smart finish.
The goal seem to shake Atletico from their slumber and Diego Simeone’s side again found their aggressive edge in the second half. They were rewarded by Salvio’s late strike to give them the narrow victory.
Hannover, meanwhile were well-organized and looked to hit their rivals on the break. A major disadvantage for Atletico is that Juanfran Torres, Gabi Fernandez and Arda Turan were all booked during the game and will be suspended next week.