Cristiano Ronaldo goal seals Italian Super Cup victory.
Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal to hand Juventus their first trophy of the season with a 1-0 win over ten-man AC Milan in the Italian Super Cup in Saudi Arabia. Ronaldo, signed by the Italian giants last year from Real Madrid as they target a first Champions League title since 1996 – headed in a 61st-minute winner. It was also the first trophy for Ronaldo since he swapped Real Madrid for Turin last summer.
The Portugal international struck with a second-half header as Juventus, runners-up in the previous two seasons, Juventus got their hands on the trophy for the first time since 2015. AC Milan played the last quarter of an hour a man down after Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie got red for a bad tackle on Emre Can.
Ronaldo’s first opportunity arrived three minutes before the interval, his attempted scissor kick crashing into the turf before bouncing over the crossbar. But Juve was almost caught out on the stroke of half-time when Hakan Calhanoglu’s snap-shot forced a smart save from Wojciech Szczesny. Shortly after the break Milan’s Patrick Cutrone’s fierce shot beat Szczesny but crashed back off the crossbar.
“I have my first title with Juventus so I’m happy,” said the Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo who now has 28 trophies including five Champions League and league titles from England and Spain, and a European Championship with Portugal.
“I really wanted this, to get off to a good start in 2019. This is only the start, we’ll take it one step at a time. We’ve got this cup, now we must keep working hard to achieve the next trophy,” said Ronaldo.
The match had been overshadowed by controversy with calls for it to be relocated over human rights issues in Saudi Arabia with women only allowed to attend the game if they were accompanied by a man.
According to media reports, there were 15,000 women among the 61,000 crowd in the stadium. Juventus have now won the title a record eight times, while AC Milan has won seven. It was the second time that Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has lifted the trophy, having lost to AC Milan in 2016 and Lazio last year.