Atletico Madrid in Copa del Rey semis

Eibar, (Spain) Jan 26 (IANS) Atletico Madrid played a 2-2 draw with Eibar to complete a 5-2 victory on aggregate to advance to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey.

Down 3-0 after the first leg of the quarter-final in Madrid, the hosts began Wednesday’s second leg hoping to at least avoid a sixth consecutive loss to Atletico in all competitions,reports Efe

Eibar coach Jose Luis Mendilibar coped with the loss of seven players to injury by drafting in substitutes from the club’s third division affiliate CD Vitoria.

Atletico manager Diego Simeone decided to rest top striker Antoine Griezmann, who did not make the trip to this northern city.

Eibar, after enjoying an edge in the number of chances during the first half, conceded just three minutes into the second, when Jose Maria Gimenez connected with a header off Nico Gaitan’s corner.

In the 72nd minute, Mendilibar sent in Pedro Leon and Sergi Enrich to give his team an offensive boost and it took only seconds for the pair to produce a goal.

Leon let loose a volley that bounced off both posts before landing at the feet of Enrich, who fired it home.

Another rebound led to Leon’s goal in the 79th minute, but Juanfran exploited a defensive blunder to equalise for Atletico a minute later.

Atletico has won the Copa del Rey 10 times, most recently in 2013, when they defeated cross-town rivals Real Madrid in the final.

–IANS

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