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Betis advance in Copa del Rey

IANS  |  San Sebastian (Spain) 

Real Betis and Real Sociedad played to a 2-2 draw on aggregate over two matches in the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey, but the Seville club are through to the quarter-finals after scoring a pair of away goals here.

Thursday night's second leg contest at the Anoeta Stadium started slowly, with the teams showing skill in their possession games but not posing any threat to the opposing goal, reports Efe.

Real Sociedad were the first to create a clear scoring chance, but midfielder Mikel Merino inexplicably botched a header at close range to squander an exquisite pass from Mikel Oyarzabal.

Instead, Betis' Sergio Canales finally ended a more than two-hour scoring drought in this round-of-16 matchup when he received a pass from Loren Moron and slotted home a left-footed shot just inside the right upright in the 37th minute.

Real Sociedad found themselves obligated to score two unanswered goals at that juncture and that sense of urgency quickly led to the equalizer in the 40th minute.

On the play, Igor Zulbeldia impressively controlled a pass inside the area with his head before connecting on a sharply angled volley past Betis goalie Joel Robles.

Real Sociedad increased their lead just after the one-hour mark thanks to a close-range header by Merino, who made up for his earlier blunder by putting a well-placed pass from Adnan Januzaj into the back of the net.

But the home side's advantage lasted only until minute 70, when Loren received a pass from Antonio Barragan and sent an accurate shot just inside the right post.

Since the teams had played to a scoreless draw in their January 10 first leg in Seville, Real Sociedad were eliminated from the Copa del Rey on away goals when they were unable to take back the lead before the final whistle.

Betis, for their part, have booked a berth in the quarter-finals of Spanish soccer's annual knockout competition for the first time since the 2012-2013 season.

--IANS

ajb/bg

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 18 2019. 15:50 IST
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