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Rodrigo strike does the job for Valencia to book Copa final date against Barcelona

It’ll be the side’s first final in 11 years.

Rodrigo Moreno scores against Real Betis.
Rodrigo Moreno scores against Real Betis.

VALENCIA WILL FACE Barcelona in the final of the Copa del Rey after a 1-0 second-leg win over Real Betis on Thursday secured a 3-2 aggregate semi-final victory.

Rodrigo Moreno’s goal early in the second half was enough to see off Betis at Mestalla and clinch a first final of any kind for Valencia in 11 years.

The result completed an impressive turnaround in the tie for Marcelino’s side, who trailed 2-0 after less than an hour of the first leg three weeks ago only to snatch a 2-2 draw thanks to Kevin Gameiro’s injury-time equaliser.

Their edge on away goals left them in a decent position and they managed the game superbly against a Betis side who sit three points and two places above them in LaLiga but now miss out on the chance to contest a final in their home stadium.

In search of an early breakthrough, Betis threatened through Joaquin’s well-struck drive from the edge of the box, before Jese Rodriguez saw a clever shot on the turn parried over by Jaume Domenech.

Aissa Mandi then glanced the resulting corner narrowly wide, as Valencia, apparently content to wait for the chance to counter-attack, began to invite more pressure.

However, 11 minutes into the second half, the home side struck. Betis’ defence failed to get organised and Mandi played Gameiro onside, allowing the Belgian to chip the ball across to Rodrigo, who volleyed in.

A deflated Betis came close to a lifeline through Mandi and a fierce Sergio Canales strike, but it is Valencia who will meet treble-chasing Barca, who knocked out Real Madrid on Wednesday.

Bernard Jackman joins Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey to discuss the backlash to World Rugby’s league proposal, captaincy styles, sports psychology and more in The42 Rugby Weekly.


Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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