Valencia fight back to take draw against Betis in Cup semi

Valencia fought back from 2-0 down to take a 2-2 draw away to Real Betis in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinal on Thursday.

Betis striker Loren Moron headed his side in front at the end of the first half and captain Joaquin doubled their advantage by scoring a remarkable goal straight from a corner.

The veteran midfielder whipped in a corner which crossed the line before Valencia's goalkeeper Jaume Domenech could pat it away, with the referee awarding the goal after consulting the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

Real Betis' Joaquin celebrates scoring their second goal, February 7, 2019. /VCG Photo

Real Betis' Joaquin celebrates scoring their second goal, February 7, 2019. /VCG Photo

Kevin Gameiro grabbed a stoppage-time equalizer for Valencia after Denis Cheryshev had reduced the deficit with 20 minutes remaining, leaving the tie in the balance heading into the second leg at the Mestalla stadium on Feb. 28.

The fightback gives Valencia a huge psychological edge heading into the second leg, knowing that a goalless or a 1-1 draw will be enough for them to reach the final.

"We wanted to win but two mistakes from set pieces cost us two goals, but it was vital that we got the goals and the draw," said Russian forward Cheryshev.

"We have to correct a few things, but we are in good shape. In Mestalla we'll have to go and take the game to them, win it and get to the final," Cheryshev added.

Betis striker Loren could not hide his disappointment after his team threw away the lead, who last lifted the trophy in 2005.

"We went in at halftime feeling great and then started the second half in the best way possible with Joaquin's goal, so we leave here feeling very sad."

Wednesday saw FC Barcelona and Real Madrid draw 1-1 in Barca's Camp Nou Stadium to leave both ties wide open to be resolved in the second leg, which will be played in three weeks.  

Source(s): Reuters