Deportivo Mirandés, nobility in defeat
Noble in defeat. Mirandés made it through to the semi-final stage and even took decent scoreline back to Anduva for the second leg, but eventually fell short of the mark. Real Sociedad were too strong for the second division side with the Basque outfit enjoying a solid season. They were calm under pressure in a first half with much to-and-fro and took the lead after a handball from Mirandés defender Malsa. Oyarzabal stepped up and slotted home the spot kick with the confidence of a player at the top of his game and to be honest from that moment on, there really was only one outcome to who would take their place in the 2019-20 Copa del Rey final.
Noble in defeat as I earlier stated. Every credit goes out to Mirandés as the second tier side did their bit for rural parts of Spain deemed as unfashionable and often overlooked. It's also true that in giving plaudits to the lower league side, one could forget the achievements of the San Sebastian club with Imanol's men defeating Real Madrid along the way in a pulsating contest at the Bernabéu. Who awaits the Donosti side in this years final as Athletic and Granada face off in the second semi-final? Whatever the outcome, it will be match-up previously unseen in Copa del Rey finals of the past with the Olympic Stadium in La Cartuja (Seville) the venue for the April 18th final.
Nuevo Los Cármenes in Granada is the setting for tonight's second semi-final with Athletic holding a 1-0 lead from the first leg which leaves the tie finely balanced. The game is a hark back to the 1969 Copa del Rey clash between both sides but with the first leg staged in the Andalusian city with many still talking about the poor referring display that night by Manuel Cardós. It was rumoured at the time that many wanted an all Basque team final, but that failed to materialise as Elche beat Real Sociedad in the other semi-final. The new Copa del Rey format has injected a new level of life into the competition as there was back in´'69 and the absence of traditional big names is a testament to the unpredictable nature of a one leg tie (apart from the semi-finals). The final is wide open.
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