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Athletic Bilbao ends Atletico Madrid's 28-match unbeaten streak at home in 1st leg of Copa semifinal

Wed, Feb 7, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

Athletic Bilbao ends Atletico Madrid's 28-match unbeaten streak at home in 1st leg of Copa semifinal

MADRID (AP) - Athletic Bilbao ended Atletico Madrid's 28-match unbeaten streak at home with a 1-0 win in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals on Wednesday.

Alex Berenguer converted a first-half penalty kick to give Athletic the tight victory at the Metropolitano Stadium.

Atletico hadn't lost at the Metropolitano since a 1-0 defeat against Barcelona in January last year in the Spanish league. Diego Simeone's team had only two draws since then, both against Getafe in the Spanish league.

Atletico thought it had a chance for a late equalizer when the referee called a penalty kick on Alvaro Morata in stoppage time, but video review determined that the Atletico striker was offside and reversed the call.

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The hosts had almost evened the match in the 85th when Angel Correa's shot was blocked by Athletic defender Inigo Lekue at the goal line.

The second leg will be on Feb. 29 at Athletic's San Mames Stadium.

Athletic eliminated Barcelona in the quarterfinals to reach the last four for the fifth straight season. The Basque Country team was runner-up in the Copa in 2019-20 and 2020-21. It last won the competition in 1984.

Athletic is the second most successful club in the Copa with 23 titles, eight less than Barcelona.

Atletico is playing in the last four of the Copa for the first time in seven seasons and is seeking its first title since 2013. It has 10 Copa trophies.

On Tuesday, Mallorca and Real Sociedad drew 0-0 in the first leg of the other semifinal. The return match will be on Feb. 27 at Sociedad's stadium.

Mallorca hadn't made it to the final since winning the Copa in 2003. Sociedad defeated Basque Country rival Athletic in the final in the 2019-20 season.

The semifinals is the only Copa stage being played in home-and-away matches.

The final will be in April in the La Cartuja Stadium in the southern city of Seville.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

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