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East ride as Barca book Cup final date against Real Madrid

English.news.cn   2014-02-13 07:14:42

MADRID, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona booked their place for the final of the Copa del Rey which they will play against bitter rivals, Real Madrid, which drew 1-1 with Real Sociedad on Wednesday night.

A magnificent goal from Leo Messi after 27 minutes, his fifth of the competition, was the key moment of the game.

Messi received the ball well just inside the Real Sociedad half, before embarking on a trademark solo run and beating home goalkeeper, Enaut Zubikaria after 27 minutes.

After Barca's 2-1 win in the first leg a week ago, Messi's goal meant that Real Sociedad would need to score four times in order to reach the final.

Despite the task that faced them, Real Sociedad showed themselves willing to do everything in their power from the start. Cheered on by the fans in a packed Anoeta Stadium, Real Sociedad looked to take the game to Barca, but found themselves against the best version of Barca, which looked to control the ball and frustrate their rivals, while always working to provoke a space in the rival defense.

Carlos Vela was again a threat for Real Sociedad but was denied an equalizer 10 minutes from halftime by Dani Alves after his shot had beaten Barca keeper, Jose Pinto.

Vela hit the bar with a chip 10 minutes into the second half just before Zubikarai produced a fine double save to dent first Messi and then Cesc Fabrigas, whose shot the goalkeeper stopped while still on the floor.

He saved from Dani Alves as time began to run out, but by then it was obvious that Barca would be in the final despite the efforts of their rivals, which finally got their reward three minutes from time when Antoine Griezman scored a well-deserved equalizer after good work from new signing Sergio Canales.

Barca will play Real Madrid in the final after two Cristiano Ronaldo penalties gave Real Madrid a 2-0 win on the night and a 5- 0 triumph on aggregate in a non-event of a return leg against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night.

By the time Ronaldo had netted his second goal just 16 minutes into the game, Atletico needed to score six times in order to reach the final and the remaining 74 minutes were a decaffeinated affair as Atletico reserved strength for their challenge for the league title.

The Cup final will be played on April 19 and everything points to Valencia's Mestalla Stadium being the venue for the game in a repeat of the 2011 final which Madrid won 1-0 thanks to a Ronaldo header in extra time.

Editor: Yamei Wang
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