Real Betis held their nerve to win a penalty shootout 5-4 and edge out Valencia in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday after a thrilling contest had ended 1-1 following extra time at a packed La Cartuja stadium.
In a classic free-flowing encounter full of goal-scoring chances and remarkable saves, it was hard to separate the two sides who maintained a frantic pace throughout the 120 minutes.
Yunus Musah missed Valencia’s fourth spot kick to give Betis a 5-4 win on penalties. Earlier, Hugo Duro’s 30th-minute goal had cancelled out Borja Iglesias’ opener for Betis.
Real Betis’ breathtaking win in their Seville hometown secured them their first major trophy since they won the same title in 2005.
It was a well fought clash of styles between Betis’s possession-based, attacking mentality and Valencia’s solid defensive block and vertical speedy transitions on the counter-attack.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side dominated possession with Copa del Rey top goal scorer and final’s MVP Borja Iglesias as the main threat, but Valencia were a constant menace to their opponents on the counter-attack, with Hugo Duro creating all kinds of trouble to Betis’ defence.
“To win this title after so many years at our town and in front our fans is a wonderful thing,” captain Joaquin told reporters in tears before lifting the trophy and becoming the first player to win two titles with Betis’ colours as he was in the field 17 years ago.
“I think it is the work of many years, of getting things little by little, building from a lot of effort. Congratulations to Valencia because if they had won they would be deserved winners, it was an amazing game.”
The 40-year-old Joaquin announced last November that this would be his final season after 21 consecutive years of top-flight football and will leave after helping his beloved Betis to win only their fourth title as they have only won the 1935 League, the 1977 Cup and the aforementioned 2005 Cup in their 115-year history.