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Mallorca beat Sociedad to return to Copa del Rey final


Mallorca beat Sociedad to return to Copa del Rey final

More than two decades later, Mallorca is back in the Copa del Rey final. The Spanish club defeated Real Sociedad 5-4 in a penalty shootout on Tuesday (Feb 27) to make it to the final 21 years after it won the competition for the only time.  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.

Sergi Darder fired the decisive spot-kick as Real Mallorca beat Real Sociedad 5-4 on penalties to book their place in the Copa del Rey final on Tuesday (Feb 27). With the two sides deadlocked at 1-1 following extra-time in the return leg after a goalless first leg, it was Mallorca who will line-up in the final in Sevilla at La Cartuja stadium on Apr 6. The Balearic islanders will face the winner of Thursday's second semi-final – Athletic Bilbao taking a 1-0 lead into their home tie against Atletico Madrid.

After a goalless 140 minutes of play over the two legs, Uruguayan defender Giovanni Gonzalez finally struck to put Mallorca in control in San Sebastian. Gonzalez latched onto a good cross from Jaume Costa to bury a close-range header past Sociedad's keeper Alex Remiro.

But just as Mallorca's thoughts began to turn to a first appearance in the Cup final in two decades Sociedad were back level with skipper Mikel Oyarzabal blasting home a nifty assist from Brais Mendez inside the box with half an hour of normal time remaining. That set up a frenetic finale, but neither side was able to break the deadlock, resulting in extra-time, and then spot-kicks.

Oyarzabal was first to go only for the player who had kept Sociedad in the semi-final to miss, his shot well anticipated by Mallorca goalkeeper Dominik Greif.

Mallorca kept their nerve and with the teams level on 4-4 penalties apiece Darder stroked the ball into the bottom right corner, out of reach of Remiro's arm, to send Mallorca to Sevilla.

Mallorca, only two spots clear of the relegation zone in LaLiga, now have a shot at adding to their lone Cup success back in 2003.

Sociedad, seventh in LaLiga, will have to pick themselves up for next week's Champions League last 16 return leg against Paris Saint-Germain, who are in pole after taking the first leg 2-0.

Spain's two biggest sides, Spanish champions FC Barcelona and cup holders Real Madrid, were both eliminated in the last round.

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