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Leganes punish Rico error as Cup semi first leg ends all square

Football
Thu, 01 Feb 2018
Reuters


Madrid: A goalkeeping howler from Sevilla’s Sergio Rico allowed King’s Cup surprise packages Leganes to secure a 1-1 home draw in their semi-final first leg on Wednesday.

Sevilla dominated and took a deserved lead after 20 minutes through Luis Muriel’s angled finish, but shortly after halftime Rico failed to connect as he attempted to punch a high ball from under his own crossbar and Dimitrios Siovas nodded in.

Having created history with a first victory away to Real Madrid in the quarters, this was a maiden semi-final appearance for Asier Garitano’s Leganes side, who only earned promotion to La Liga for the first time last season.

They were facing a seasoned Sevilla outfit playing in their 12th cup semi-final across all competitions over the past 12 seasons.

It appeared Leganes’s lack of experience may get the better of them as the visitors threatened to overwhelm them and goalkeeper Nereo Champagne kept his side in contention with a series of saves before Muriel opened the scoring.

After Leganes had equalised Sevilla, who knocked out Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals, pushed on for a winner but Leganes held firm to the delight of a sold-out Butarque stadium.

Holders Barcelona host Valencia in the other semi on Thursday, with Marcelino’s team looking to avenge an 8-1 aggregate defeat by the Catalans at this stage of the competition in 2016. 

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