Soccer-Real midfielder Valverde suspended for one game for decisive Super Cup foul

MADRID, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde has been handed a one-game suspension for his professional foul on Alvaro Morata which proved so crucial in winning the Spanish Super Cup over Atletico Madrid last Sunday.

The Uruguay international, 21, chased down Morata as the striker raced towards goal late in extra time in the final of the revamped competition in Saudi Arabia and executed a two-footed lunge on him to halt the play.

The game finished goalless but Real comfortably won the penalty shootout 4-1 to lift the trophy and Atletico coach Diego Simeone described Valverde’s moment of sacrifice as “the most important moment of the match”.

The referee’s report said Valverde had been shown a straight red card for denying a clear goalscoring chance but a statement from the Spanish soccer federation said he would only serve a one-game ban for the infraction.

Valverde, who has been one of Real’s best players this season in their title race with Barcelona, will miss Saturday’s match at home to third-placed Sevilla.

He will return for the trip to Real Valladolid the following week and is free to face Atletico again in a derby in La Liga on Feb. 1. (Writing by Richard Martin Editing by Christian Radnedge)