February 8, 2018 / 1:24 AM / 6 months ago

Soccer - Sevilla outlast Leganes to reach Cup final

SEVILLE, Spain (Reuters) - Sevilla recovered from a humiliating loss to Eibar by booking their place in the King’s Cup final for a second time in three seasons, beating Leganes 2-0 on Wednesday in a semi-final second leg to progress 2-1 on aggregate.

Soccer Football - Spanish King's Cup Semi Final Second Leg - Sevilla vs Leganes - Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Seville, Spain - February 7, 2018 Sevilla’s Joaquin Correa celebrates after the match REUTERS/Jon Nazca

Argentine midfielder Joaquin Correa struck the opening goal by slotting a loose ball into an empty net from close range in the 15th minute after Colombian forward Luis Muriel had burst into the area.

Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella risked his reputation by playing a weakened team on Saturday against Eibar and his side were thrashed 5-1, but his gamble paid off as his side outlasted Leganes and Franco Vazquez smashed into the net from a tight angle in the 89th minute.

“We knew how to stick together when we were down and how to be a team and thanks to this we’re in the final. This will give us an important boost for the remainder of the season,” Montella told reporters.

Leganes produced a huge shock by knocking out Real Madrid in the previous round and kept fighting but they struggled to create decent openings, managing only one shot at goalkeeper Sergio Rico, who had conceded an embarrassing own goal in the first leg.

“We are very proud of all the players as they gave everything and tried but we had an opponent in front of us who were better than us,” Leganes coach Asier Garitano said.

“When you give everything you can’t ask for anything else, we’re going to see how we react to all of this and focus on our objective of remaining in the top flight next year.”

Triple holders Barcelona visit Valencia on Thursday in the other semi-final with a 1-0 advantage from the first leg.

The winners will play Sevilla in the final on April 21.

Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond

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