Copa del Rey quarter-finals report: Athletic Club are on for a Copa del Rey after thriller against Betis (1-1 A.E.T.; 1-4 P.K.)

Athletic Club have qualified for the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey after defeating Real Betis on penalties.

The Basque side won the Supercopa de Espana last month and still have the 2020 Copa del Rey final to look forward to in April, but the dream of two Copa del Rey finals in one month remains alive.

The quarter-final at the Estadio Benito Villamarin was a hotly contested affair with both sides going at it with everything they had, although cancelling each other out for the most part.

The home side must have thought they had nicked the win in normal time when Unai Simon's fingertips couldn't prevent Juanmi's volley sneaking into the bottom corner in the 84th minute.

Athletic's never-say-die attitude paid off, however, with an equaliser ten minutes later to give themselves an extra life right at the death.

With time quickly running out, Inigo Martinez took charge, driving forward and creating room to cross from the left, finding Raul Garcia with an excellent delivery who steered his header beyond Joel Robles.

Ultimately, there was more passion than quality in the ensuring additional periods and penalties had to settle the affair after neither side found a way through in extra time.

Unai Simon was the hero for Athletic this time, denying both Sergio Canales and Juanmi, while Raul Garcia, Inaki Williams, Jon Morcillo and Yuri Berchichescored consecutive penalties to seal it.

Betis may be frustrated that they couldn't make their periods of dominance count for more, failing to convert possession into shots on target, while Athletic's cup success and revival under new coach Marcelino continues.

Athletic go into the hat for Friday's draw, along with Sevilla, Levante and Barcelona, to decide the pairings for the two-legged semi-finals.

Source: Marca / Andrew McDougall

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