Real Betis wins Copa del Rey

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Real Betis wins Copa del Rey

Real Betis beat Valencia 5-4 on penalties to win the Copa del Rey.

Teenager Yunus Musah of Valencia was the only unfortunate penalty taker who missed the spot-kick in the shootout. The United States midfielder, who came on as a substitute, sent the ball high over Claudio Bravo’s goal to the joy of Betis’ fans.

It was Betis’ third Copa del Rey title, ending a 17-year wait for a major title for the Seville-based side.

The final offered a pulsating contest that saw both sides dominating for short periods.

Manuel Pellegrini’s Betis got on the score sheet first in the 11th-minute courtesy of a header by Borja Iglesias, who led its attack all night.

Sergio Canales and Juanmi Jiménez both hit the post for Betis, and Valencia needed goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili to deny Nabil Fekir and Iglesias in the final moments of regular time to keep the score level.

Valencia relied on its counterattacks, which produced an equalizer in the 30th when Hugo Duro chipped the ball over Bravo on the break after he was played through by Ilaix Moriba.

It stayed 1-1 at the end of regulation and through 30 minutes of extra time when the scoring chances dried up as the players wore down.

Mamardashvili failed to stop any of the spot kicks by Willian José, Joaquín, Andrés Guardado, Cristián Tello, and Juan Miranda.

Carlos Soler, Uros Racic, Goncalo Guedes, and José Gayà converted four of their team’s five spot-kicks before the miss as Valencia failed to add another trophy to its collection of eight cups.

“This is what we wanted, to win the Copa del Rey again,” said Betis’ 40-year-old captain Joaquín Sánchez, who converted in the shootout and received the trophy from Spain’s King Felipe VI.

He was also part of the last squad that won the Cope del Rey title 17 years ago.

“This is thanks to the work not only of this year. We have grown little by little and are having a great season.”

The Betis fan favorite then performed some sweeps with a bull-fighting cape in front of 53,000 spectators who packed the stands at Seville’s Estadio La Cartuja.

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