Mallorca beat Real Sociedad to return to Copa del Rey final two decades later | Football News - Hindustan Times
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Mallorca beat Real Sociedad on penalties to return to Copa del Rey final two decades later

AP |
Feb 28, 2024 07:01 AM IST

Mallorca beat Real Sociedad 5-4 in a penalty shootout on Tuesday to make it to the final 21 years after it won the competition

More than two decades later, Mallorca is back in the Copa del Rey final.

Sociedad v RCD Mallorca - Mallorca's Dominik Greif and Sergi Darder celebrate after winning the penalty shoot-out(REUTERS)
Sociedad v RCD Mallorca - Mallorca's Dominik Greif and Sergi Darder celebrate after winning the penalty shoot-out(REUTERS)

The Spanish club partly owned by Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and former NBA great Steve Nash defeated Real Sociedad 5-4 in a penalty shootout on Tuesday to make it to the final 21 years after it won the competition for the only time.

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Mallorca goalkeeper Dominik Greif saved the opening penalty by Mikel Oyarzabal, then Sergi Darder converted the decisive kick to put Mallorca in the final. The teams drew 1-1 in regulation and were scoreless in extra time at Sociedad's Reale Arena.

The teams had drawn 0-0 in the first leg in Mallorca on Feb. 6.

Mallorca will play the April 6 final in Seville against either Atletico Madrid or Athletic Bilbao, which will play the second leg of the other semifinal on Thursday in Bilbao. Athletic won the first leg 1-0 in Madrid.

It will be the fourth Copa final for Mallorca, which hadn't made it the title game since it won the tournament in 2003 against Recreativo Huelva. Its other final appearances were in 1991 and 1998. It hadn't made it to the semifinals since 2009.

Mallorca's Mexican coach Javier Aguirre had taken Osasuna to the 2005 final, when it lost to Real Betis.

Sociedad was trying to return to the Copa final for the first time since it beat rival Athletic to lift the trophy in the 2019-20 season.

Vedat Muriqi, Manu Morlanes, Omar Mascarell and Nemanja Radonjic also scored for Mallorca in the penalty shootout. Beñat Turrientes, Jon Ander Olasagasti, Martín Zubimendi and Sheraldo Becker scored for Sociedad.

Mallorca took the lead in the 50th with a header by Gio González into the far corner in what was the visitors' only attempt on target during regulation. There was a long delay before the goal was confirmed as video review looked for a possible offside in the buildup.

The hosts, which had nearly 30 attempts throughout the match, equalized in a breakaway in the 71st with Oyarzabal finding the net with a low shot after a nice through ball by Brais Méndez.

Mallorca, which sits just outside the relegation zone in the Spanish league, had won only one of its last six games.

Sociedad, seventh after 26 league rounds, had one win in its last seven matches across all competitions. The Basque Country club is in the round of 16 of the Champions League, having lost the first leg against Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 in France.

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