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Under-19s reach Copa del Rey final

MATCH REPORT. 08/03/2023. Rodrigo Salamanca. Photographer: Jesús Troyano (León)

Arbeloa’s men defeated Athletic courtesy of a strike by Nico Paz and an own goal and will now look to secure the trophy in Saturday’s final against the winners of Deportivo-Almería (4pm CET).

The Under-19s defeated Athletic at the Reino de León stadium in the semi-final of the Copa del Rey. The Whites will now look to secure the trophy against the winners of the Deportivo-Almería game this Saturday, at 4:30 pm (CET). Álvaro Arbeloa’s side clinched the victory courtesy of a strike from Nico Paz ('60) and an own goal from Ander following a shot from David Jiménez ('81). The madridistas, who remain unbeaten this season, will attempt to retain the Copa and claim their 15th trophy in the competition's history.

The game got off to a lively start. In the eighth minute, Palacios almost gave Madrid the lead, but he was denied by the goalkeeper. Soon after, Gonzalo was able to find a way past him, but the goal was ruled out for offside. The midfielder went close again when he got on the end of a pinpoint cross by David Jiménez. The academy side were bossing the play and they almost got their reward when César fired a shot narrowly wide in the 27th minute. The last chance of the half fell to Arbeloa’s side, as Manuel Ángel tried his luck from the edge of the box.
The goals
After the re-start, Athletic carved out the first opening of the second half. First, Vizcay’s header missed the target and then Olabarrieta’s long-range strike failed to trouble the keeper. The madridistas hit back soon after and did so in style. A fine cross from the left by Youssef was nodded back by Pol and Nico Paz smashed a first-time shot into the net to put Madrid ahead. The visitors then looked to double their lead and Gonzalo almost did so with a fierce strike from the right which struck the post. With nine minutes left on the clock, the under-19s sealed the game courtesy of an own goal from Ander when he attempted to clear a potent shot from David Jiménez. The scoreline remained unchanged and Arbeloa's charges will be looking to recapture the trophy on Saturday.
0-Athletic: Mikel, Ander, Palacios, Plazaola (Osipov, 76’), Vicandi, Canales (Asier Hierro, 66’), Olabarrieta (Barck, 82’), Montero (Huestamendía, 66’), Gaizka, Arredondo, Vizcay.
2-Under-19s: Piñeiro, David Jiménez, Youssef, Jacobo, Manu Serrano, Chema, Gonzalo (Ginés, 86’), Manuel Ángel, Pol (Mesonero, 86’), Palacios (Yeray, 74’), Nico Paz (Hugo de Llanos, 74’).
0-1 (min. 60): Nico Paz.
0-2 (min. 81): Ander, own goal.

Video.0-2: Under-19s reach Copa del Rey final