For the first time in more than a century, a Basque derby will decide the Copa del Rey.
Athletic Bilbao reached the Copa final for the fourth time in 12 years despite a 2-1 loss at Granada on Thursday, advancing on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate score to set up a title match against Basque Country rival Real Sociedad.
It will be the first time the two teams play for the Copa title since Athletic beat Sociedad in 1910 in the deciding match of a three-team mini-tournament.
Neither club has won the cup in more than 30 years, with Athletic’s last title coming in 1984 and Sociedad’s in 1987.
Sociedad defeated second-division club Mirandes 1-0 on Wednesday to advance 3-1 on aggregate.
Athletic won 1-0 in Bilbao but was down 2-0 on Thursday after second-half headers by Carlos Fernandez and German Sanchez. Yuri Berchiche scored the decisive away goal after a run into the area in the 81st to secure his team a spot in the April 18 final in Seville.
Athletic, which only fields players born or raised in the Basque region, is the second-most successful club in the Copa with 23 titles, behind Barcelona’s 30. Athletic lost to the Catalan club the last three times it reached the final – in 2009, 2012 and 2015.
Two-time champion Sociedad last made it to the final in 1988, a year after it won its second title. The first came in 1909.
Granada was trying to reach its second Copa final, and first since 1959, when it lost to Barcelona.
Athletic eliminated Barcelona 1-0 at home in the quarterfinals, while Sociedad ousted Real Madrid with a 4-3 win at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
It’s the first time in a decade neither Barcelona nor Madrid made it to the last four.
Common Copa del Rey Questions
What does Copa del Rey mean in English?
The Copa del Rey (English: King’s Cup) is an annual football cup competition for Spanish football teams. Its full name is Campeonato de España – Copa de Su Majestad el Rey (Championship of Spain – Cup of His Majesty the King), and is commonly known as La Copa.
Who has won the Copa del Rey the most?
Barcelona is the most successful club in the competition, winning their fourth consecutive and 30th overall title against Sevilla in the 2018 final held at the Wanda Metropolitano. Athletic Bilbao have the second-most titles. The current title holders are Valencia.
When was the Copa del Rey first played?
The competition was founded in 1903, thus making it the oldest Spanish football competition. The teams that participated were Madrid FC, FC Barcelona, Club Español de Foot-Ball, New Foot-Ball de Madrid and Club Bizcaya (a team made up of players from Athletic Club and Bilbao FC) which eventually defeated Barcelona in the final.
How many teams compete in the Copa del Rey?
115 teams compete in the Copa del Rey. The first round draw contains the names of 16 La Liga clubs plus 105 teams from lower divisions. The only top-flight sides not included in the first-round draw are the four teams who are involved in the new, four-team Spanish Super Cup. These clubs are given a bye until the last 32 as part of their involvement in the
Who has scored the most Copa de Rey goals?
Surprisingly the answer is not someone called Messi or Ronaldo. The Copa del Rey all-time top goalscorer is Pedro Telmo Zarraonandía Montoya, known as Telmo Zarra with 81 goals. Telmo Zarra spent the majority of his career at Athletic Bilbao, from 1940 to 1955, for whom he remains the top scorer in competitive matches with 335 goals.