Valencia reaches Copa semifinal with 2 stoppage-time goals
MADRID (AP) — In a span of a few seconds in stoppage time, Getafe squandered a chance to reach the Copa del Rey semifinals for just the fourth time in its history as it was eliminated by Valencia in a frantic finish.
Valencia scored twice in added time to win the second leg of their quarterfinal 3-1 on Tuesday and advance 3-2 on aggregate.
The decisive third goal by Rodrigo — which completed a hat trick by the forward — came 12 seconds after Getafe missed a great chance to progression. With the Valencia defense beaten, a shot by Jorge Molina hit a teammate on its way to the net.
“We had this clear chance in the end but our own guy got in the way, then they scored on the counterattack,” said Molina, who had given Getafe the lead shortly after kickoff at Mestalla Stadium in Valencia.
Rodrigo scored his first goal in the 61st to start Valencia’s comeback, then sealed the triumph with close-range shots a minute apart early into injury time.
“We showed great character today,” Rodrigo said. “This is what we are. We believed until the end.”
The hosts were aided by the 74th-minute sending off of Djene Dakonam, who was shown a second yellow card for a hard foul. Dakonam had also been red-carded in the team’s Spanish league game on Saturday.
A brawl erupted after the final whistle, with the benches being cleared and police having to intervene to break up altercations among several players.
Getafe, a small club based in southern Madrid, was runner-up in the Copa in 2007 and 2008, and reached the semifinals for the last time in 2010.
Valencia is back in the semifinals for the first time since 2012. It won the last of its seven titles in 2008.
On Wednesday, four-time defending Copa champion Barcelona hosts Sevilla needing to reverse a 2-0 first-leg loss, while Espanyol visits Real Betis after being held to a 1-1 draw at home. Real Madrid will travel to Catalonia on Thursday to defend a 4-2 first-leg win against Girona.
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