A powerful shot from the Portuguese Gonçalo Guedes shortly before the break put Valencia in the final of the Copa del Rey against Athletic Club, whom he surpassed after 180 very even minutes and in a second meeting in which a detail decided the victory in favor of the Valencian team.
Athletic carried the weight of the game. His was the ball for most of the minutes, but without being able to create danger against a crouching Valencia and confident in his options on the counterattack, but he did not have many more situations than that of the talented Portuguese striker.
Valencia came out with three central defenders, while Athletic did so with a line of four in a clash in which nothing that happened in its opening minutes was surprising: intensity, a thick football at times and many divided balls that caused fouls and interruption of the game.
The first ones were visitor control until Valencia leveled their forces before the quarter of an hour of play, although both teams maintained the two different styles that were expected: Valencia with direct football and Athletic with more elaborate actions.
Halfway through the first period, Marcelino García Toral’s team had regained the initiative and He tried to touch the ball in the spinal cord to send balls into the hole facing, above all, Williams, the team’s offensive reference.
None of these actions were successful, but they helped Valencia continue with their strategywithout launching decisively into the attack and with long shipments that did not produce danger.
Only on one occasion did Athletic have a clear goal option when Williams faced Valencia’s goal, dribbled past Paulista and he forced Mamardashvili to throw himself at his feet and avert danger in a more than dangerous action.
The Basque team missed their opportunity and gave way to one of the few local attacks to 1-0. Guedes, after a defensive rebound, took a ball outside the area, placed it to his right and fired a shot that was impossible to stop, which entered Aguirrezabala’s left.
It was the 43rd minute of the game and although, motivated by the goal, the locals had the opportunity to make the second, the score did not change.
The goal at the end of the first part marked the dynamics of the beginning of the second with a greater initiative from Athletic that needed the goal to balance the tie, while the locals considered propping up the rival on the counterattack.
The visiting domain became complete, although without depth because Valencia was shown to be a very solid team in defense, although with hardly any attack, with more than half an hour of play ahead in which they seemed to find no other objective than to hold out against the Bilbao team’s attacks.
As the end approached, what had been seen until then was accentuated: an ultra-defensive Valencia and an Athletic focused on attack but without creating excessive danger and a final without the score moving despite the eight minutes of extension.
1 – Valencia: Mamardashvili, Foulquier, Diakhaby, Gabriel Paulista (Hugo Guillamón, m.83), Alderete, Gayà (Lato, m.33), Ilaix, Carlos Soler, Bryan Gil (Musah, m.71), Guedes and Hugo Duro.
0 – Athletic Club: Aguirrezabala, Lekue (Petxarromán, m.62) Yerai, Íñigo Martínez, Yuri , Berenguer (Nico Williams, m.70), Dani García (Winner, m.62), Vesga (Zárraga, m.82), Muniain, Iñaki Williams and Raúl García (Sancet, m.62).
Goal: 1-0, m.43: Guedes.
Referee: Gil Manzano (Extremadura committee). He admonished Gabriel Paulista (m.26), Alderete (m.74) and Diakabhy (m.92) for Valencia and Íñigo Martínez (m.60) and Zárraga (m.95) for Athletic Club.
Incidents: second leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals played at the Mestalla stadium in front of some 40,000 spectators.