Valencia and Rayo advance to Copa del Rey quarterfinals
MADRID (AP) — Valencia reached its second Copa del Rey semifinal in four years by defeating Cádiz 2-1 on Wednesday, while Rayo Vallecano made the last four for the first time in four decades by beating Mallorca 1-0.
Hugo Duro scored the winner for Valencia in the 79th minute after setting up the opener by Gonçalo Guedes in the 24th to lead the hosts to the semifinals for the first time since it won the title in 2019.
Cádiz scored with a penalty kick converted by Lucas Pérez in the 55th at Mestalla Stadium. It played the final minutes of the game with 10 men after Juan Cala was sent off with a second yellow for a hard sliding tackle.
Valencia’s only two victories in its last six matches had come in Copa games — against Cartagena in the round of 32 and Atlético Baleares in the round of 16. It sits 10th in the Spanish league.
Cádiz defeated Levante before the international break to end an eight-game winless streak in the league.
Valencia’s three new signings — Ilaix Moriba, Eray Comert and Bryan Gil — made their debut for the club.
RAYO MOVES ON
Rayo continued its good run at home by defeating Mallorca to reach the semifinals for the first time since 1982.
Óscar Trejo converted a 44th-minute penalty to send the Madrid club, which had not even made the quarterfinals since 2002.
Rayo had been unbeaten in its first 10 home matches this season before losing to Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish league before the international break.
Mallorca, the 2003 Copa champion, gave debuts to its three new signings — Giovanni González, Vedat Muriqi and goalkeeper Sergio Rico. American striker Matthew Hoppe came on early in the second half.
Rayo was missing striker Radamel Falcao, who played for Colombia in World Cup qualifying during the international break.
Real Madrid, which visits Athletic Bilbao in another Copa quarterfinal on Thursday, will also have players missing because of international duty, as will Real Betis, which visits 2020 champion Real Sociedad on the same day.
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