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Rodriquez grabs vital debut goal for Madrid

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Real Madrid's James Rodriguez

Real Madrid's James Rodriguez

Real Madrid's James Rodriguez

JAMES RODRIGUEZ scored in his Spanish debut as Real Madrid earned a 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid in the first leg of the Super Cup last night.

Rodriguez came on for Cristiano Ronaldo in the second half at the Santiago Bernabeu and found the back of the net in the 80th minute after he pounced on a loose ball in the penalty area following an attempt by Benzema.

Raul Garcia equalised for Atletico in the 87th from a corner.

Throughout the first half, Atletico held Madrid in check by dominating the midfield with disciplined tackling and ensuring at least two players shadowed forwards Gareth Bale and Ronaldo every time a pass was made to them.

Rodriguez joined Xabi Alonso, Toni Kroos and Angel Di Maria in Madrid's midfield and was brought on by coach Carlo Ancelotti after Ronaldo had been seen holding and rubbing his left leg late in the first half. Di Maria had come on in the second half for Luka Modric.

"He did well," Ancelotti said of James. "All the second half the team played with greater speed and intensity, looking for chances from the wings. He scored and that'll give him more confidence."

The second leg is to be played on Friday at Atletico's Vicente Calderon Stadium.

Despite having scored an away goal, Atletico coach Diego Simeone said his team's chances of winning the cup were still only 50 percent.

"We are going to find ourselves up against a team with many attacking options and very good players," he said of the second leg.


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