Mallorca beat Real Sociedad in penalty shootout for Copa del Rey final

Sports Wednesday 28/February/2024 08:54 AM
By: xinhua
Mallorca beat Real Sociedad in penalty shootout for Copa del Rey final

MADRID: Mallorca goalkeeper Dominik Greif was the hero as his side won a penalty shootout away to Real Sociedad to qualify for the Copa del Rey final for the first time in 21 years.

Greif, who saved a spot-kick from Brais Mendez in normal time, stopped Mikel Oyarzabal's spot-kick at the start of the shootout, which came after 120 minutes had ended 1-1. With all the Mallorca players beating home goalkeeper Alex Remiro, Mallorca will be in Sevilla for the final on April 6.

The first leg between the two sides ended 0-0 three weeks ago, and a league meeting later on saw a 2-1 win for Real Sociedad with a late goal, so it was no surprise that this was also a close affair.

Mallorca coach Javier Aguirre had organised his defence effectively and Real Sociedad found little space for striker Andre Silva.

It wasn't until the half hour that Arsen Zakharyan had the first shot on target for the home side, although it was straight at Greif.

Abdon Prats shot just wide for Mallorca after good work from Dani Rodriguez before Mendez wasted a perfect chance to put Real Sociedad ahead.

Antonio Raillo needlessly handled Martin Zubimendi's ball into the area to concede a penalty, but Mendez hit a tame effort that Greif saved comfortably with his feet.

Real Sociedad replaced the ineffective Silva with recent signing Sheraldo Becker at halftime, but Mallorca struck first with right back Giovanni Gonzalez planting a powerful far-post header past Remiro five minutes into the second half.

Real Sociedad reacted well, with Takefusa Kubo active on the right, before Mikel Oyarzabal came on for the home side after two weeks out with a thigh injury.

The home side's captain had only been on the pitch for eight minutes when he ran onto Mendez's pass to beat Greif with a diagonal right-foot shot in the 71st minute.

Real Sociedad had Mallorca on the back foot, with Greif pushing Becker's angled shot wide, with Mallorca struggling to keep hold of the ball or get out of their half.

Kieran Tierney almost scored after five minutes of extra time following a scramble, but a VAR check showed Samu Costa blocked his effort before it fully crossed the line.

At the other end, Remiro tipped a Sergi Darder free kick out for a corner.

The second half of extra time saw two tired sides commit plenty of niggling fouls but were unable to create chances as the tie went into the decisive shootout.