Real Sociedad defeats Celta Vigo 2-1 to return to Copa del Rey semifinals

MADRID (AP) — Real Sociedad defeated Celta Vigo 2-1 on Tuesday to reach the Copa del Rey semifinals for the first time since winning the competition four seasons ago.

Mikel Oyarzabal and Sheraldo Becker scored for the visitors in a rematch of the teams’ Spanish league game on Saturday, when Sociedad won 1-0 in Vigo.

“We’ve played against a great team and a great coach, so what we’ve achieved in these two matches has a lot of value,” Sociedad coach Imanol Alguacil said.

Luca de la Torre scored for the hosts with a low shot from inside the box in the 92nd minute.

Celta, coached by Rafa Benítez, was looking to return to the semifinals for the first time since 2017.

Sociedad, which beat Basque Country rival Athletic Bilbao in the 2019-20 final, had made it to the last eight the last two seasons but failed to advance.

Oyarzabal opened the scoring with a header from close range two minutes into the match at the Balaidos Stadium.

Becker added to the lead in a fast breakaway in the 66th, making a run from behind the midfield line and finding the net from outside the area as Celta goalkeeper Iván Villar charged from the net.

Sociedad sits in sixth place in the Spanish league, six points from fourth-place Atletico Madrid in the final Champions League place. Celta is 16th, two points from the relegation zone.

Sociedad’s win against Celta on Saturday ended the team’s four-game winless streak in the league.

On Wednesday, Athletic Bilbao hosts Barcelona looking to make it to the Copa semifinals for the fifth straight season. The match pits together the two most successful clubs in the competition. Barcelona has 31 titles and Athletic 23.

Girona, the surprise Spanish league leader, visits Mallorca in another quarterfinal.

Atletico Madrid, which eliminated defending champion Real Madrid in the round of 16, hosts struggling Sevilla, which sits just outside the relegation zone in the league.


AP soccer:

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