Real Sociedad Beat Athletic Bilbao To Win 2020 Copa Del Rey
Real Sociedad won the Copa del Rey for only the third time on Saturday by beating Basque rivals Athletic Bilbao 1-0 in an historic final postponed from last season.
Mikel Oyarzabal, La Real’s captain who joined their youth academy aged 14, scored the penalty that proved the winner in Seville, where the biggest ever game between these two famous clubs had to be played without fans.
Oyarzabal’s strike secures Real Sociedad their first Copa del Rey triumph in 34 years while at the same denying a 24th success for Athletic Bilbao, who must now try to recover in time for a second attempt in two weeks’ time.
Athletic have also reached the final of this season’s competition, which will be played on the same pitch at La Cartuja on April 17, with Barcelona and Lionel Messi their opponents next time around.
For Real Sociedad, this was a one-off chance and they took it, edging a final that was tight, tense and without clear openings, but one in which the better team were lifting the trophy at the finish.
Eighteen of the 22 players that started were Basque, with many of them beginning in the academies of the club’s they now represent, including Oyarzabal, who was born in Gipuzkoa and joined Real Sociedad’s ‘Zubieta’ as a teenager.
The final had been put off as long as possible in the hope fans might be able to attend, but instead it was staged almost 1 000 kilometres south in Seville, where around 350 guests and journalists were allowed in, but the stands were otherwise left empty. (AFP)