Alaves in Copa del Rey semis for first time in 13 years

Vitoria (Spain), Jan 25 (IANS) Alaves are headed to the Copa del Rey semi-finals for the first time in 13 years after a 0-0 draw here against second division football club Alcorcon, who conceded two goals to the La Liga side in last week’s first leg of the quarter-final.

The 2-0 win on aggregate assured a fifth trip to the semis for the squad from Vitoria, reports Efe.

On Tuesday, the hosts started the match looking determined to increase their advantage over Alcorcon.

Aleksandar Katai nearly put Alaves ahead 1-0 in the third minute, but his shot rolled just outside the left post. Team-mate Alexis Ruano missed with a header off a corner five minutes later.

In the 13th minute, Alexis had to come to the aid of Alaves goalkeeper Ortola, stopping a shot from Victor Perez that was on course to sail just under the crossbar into the back of the net.

Alcorcon missed another great opportunity in the 24th minute, when Oscar Plano failed to capitalise on Nelson’s outstanding ball into the area.

The visitors began to press higher about midway through the first half and garnered two chances in quick succession in the final minutes before the break.

Some of the nearly 12,000 people in the stands at Vitoria’s Mendizorroza stadium jeered Alaves as the teams left the field and their displeasure with the quality of play from the home team was apparently shared by coach Mauricio Pellegrino, who shuffled the lineup at the start of the second half, bringing in Ibai Gomez, scorer of both goals in the first leg.

Alcorcon almost scored in the opening minute of the second half, as Elgezabal’s shot hit the crossbar on a play that started with a free kick by Oscar Plano.

The visiting side continued to create opportunities, but suffered from a lack of quality in the finish and Alaves were able to make their 2-0 advantage hold up.