Sat, Feb 13, 2016 - Page 8 News List

Sevilla to face Barcelona in Copa del Rey final

AP, MADRID

Sevilla FC midfielder Yevhen Konoplyanka, right, falls down after vying with Chilean Pedro Hernandez of RC Celta de Vigo during their Copa del Rey second-leg semi-final in Vigo, Spain, on Thursday.

Photo: EPA

Sevilla will play Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final after drawing 2-2 with RC Celta de Vigo on Thursday, advancing 6-2 on aggregate.

Sevilla will play Luis Enrique’s side in the final on May 21, after they eliminated Valencia 8-1 on aggregate in the other semi-final on Wednesday.

Celta opened a 2-0 lead with goals by striker Iago Aspas in the 35th and 55th minutes to ignite the Balaidos, but Argentine midfielder Ever Banega scored for Sevilla in the 57th to dampen the fans’ hopes of a comeback.

Celta’s chances of reversing the 4-0 loss from the first leg ended for good when Swedish striker John Guidetti missed a 60th-minute penalty-kick under pouring rain in Vigo.

Ukrainian midfielder Yevhen Konoplyanka came off the bench to score Sevilla’s second goal in the 87th, when the semi-final had already been settled.

Sevilla midfielder Steven Nzonzi was sent off after the match following his second yellow card and he will miss the final.

“This comes as recognition of our work,” Sevilla coach Unai Emery said. “I’m proud of our team, although there is still some room for improvement, especially in these away games.”

Sevilla had won all of their seven Copa del Rey matches so far. They had not conceded a single goal, while scoring 20.

It will be Sevilla’s first appearance in the final since they won the title for the fifth time in 2009-2010. Barcelona are playing in the final for the third straight season, and sixth time in eight years. They have won the tournament a record 27 times.

It still has not been decided which stadium is to host the final.

“I would rather play in China than at the Camp Nou,” Emery said. “That would be like giving them another [Lionel] Messi. I hope it doesn’t happen.”

Celta, who have yet to win the Copa, played well in front of their raucous fans and created several scoring chances throughout the match, but in the end, could not get the goals they needed.

Banega’s goal with a low shot from just inside the area two minutes after Celta’s second goal dealt a huge blow to the fans in Vigo, and the missed penalty by Guidetti, who struck the post with his shot from the spot, took all the energy out of the team.

It was the third match between Sevilla and Celta in a week. They also met in Vigo in the Spanish league over the weekend, drawing 1-1.

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