Osasuna knock holders Betis out of Copa del Rey; Atleti advance

Sports Desk, Jan 18 (EFE).- Real Betis’ bid to repeat as Copa del Rey champions ended Wednesday with a defeat on penalties to Osasuna, while 10-time winners Atletico Madrid qualified for the quarterfinals with a 2-0 win over Levante.

The holders reached the end of the 90 minutes leading 1-0 on William Carvalho’s goal in the 62nd minute, but David Garcia scored for Osasuna in stoppage time and the crowd at Seville’s Benito Villamarin stadium settled in for extra-time.

Youssouf Sabaly put Betis ahead again in the 103rd minute, only to see Ruben Garcia get another equalizer for the visitors from Pamplona in the 106th and the teams were deadlocked 2-2 when the final whistle blew after 122 minutes of football.

The closeness of the contest was no surprise, as Betis and Osasuna are sixth and seventh, respectively, in LaLiga, separated by just a point.

And while the hosts had an edge on possession, each squad had six shots on target.

The tally was 2-2 after the first two rounds of penalties, on goals by Ezequiel Avila and Ante Budimir for Osasuna and Borja Iglesias and Loren Moron for Betis.

In the third round, Osasuna’s Jon Moncayola converted, but Sergio Canales was denied by visiting goalkeeper Sergio Herrera.

Kike Barja gave Osasuna a 4-2 advantage with his effort from the spot before Guido Rodriguez sent his kick over the cross-bar to seal the elimination of Betis.

The contest in Valencia was a tale of two halves. While second-division Levante were the better team for the opening 45 minutes, the Colchoneros took command after the break, doing enough to reach the last eight of a competition they have won 10 times, most recently in 2012-2013.

Unintimidated by their LaLiga opponents, Levante were ambitious going forward and looked to have taken the lead in the 25th minute courtesy of Alex Muñoz, but the goal was disallowed for a foul by the attackers in the buildup.

Ten minutes later, Pablo Martinez barely missed from close range after Atleti’s Reinildo failed to clear the ball.

The Madrid team were markedly better after the break and took the lead in the 54th minute with a goal from Alvaro Morata, assisted by Marcos Llorente.

Levante kept their poise and keeper Joan Femenias produced a tremendous stop to deny Angel Correa in the 80th minute. It wasn’t until the first minute of stoppage that Llorente scored to nail down the victory for Atletico. EFE agr-plm/dr

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