Valencia defeated Real Betis 1-0 on Thursday to reach the Copa del Rey final for the first time in more than a decade.
MADRID (AP) – Valencia defeated Real Betis 1-0 on Thursday to reach the Copa del Rey final for the first time in more than a decade.
Striker Rodrigo scored a second-half winner for Valencia, which advanced 3-2 on aggregate after a 2-2 draw at Betis three weeks ago.
Valencia will face four-time defending champion Barcelona, which defeated Real Madrid 3-0 on Wednesday at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to advance to its sixth straight Copa final.
Valencia hadn't made it to the final since it won the last of its seven Copa titles in 2008.
Betis was hoping to make it to the May 25 final at its Villamarin Stadium in Seville. It hadn't reached the last four since it won the second of its two Copa titles in 2005.
Betis needed to score after conceding twice in the first leg at home, but it was Valencia that struck first at its Mestalla Stadium when Rodrigo found the net from close range after a pass by Kevin Gameiro following a breakaway in the 56th minute.
It took a while for Rodrigo's goal to be confirmed, but a video review eventually determined there was no offside in the build-up.
Gameiro had scored the stoppage-time equalizer in the first leg, when Valencia trailed by two goals early in the second half.
Valencia and Barcelona drew both matches they played in the Spanish league this season - 1-1 at Mestalla last year and 2-2 at Camp Nou Stadium this month.
Barcelona will be trying to win an unprecedented fifth straight Copa title, and 31st overall, the most by any club.
Valencia had a dismal start to its season, winning only one of its first 13 matches in all competitions. But it has hit its stride recently, moving closer to the European spots in the Spanish league and also reaching the last 16 in the Europa League.