SEVILLE, April 3 (Xinhua) — Mikel Oyarzabal’s 63rd-minute penalty was enough to give Real Sociedad a 1-0 win over local rivals, Athletic Club Bilbao in the final of the 2020 Copa del Rey which had been postponed from last year due to the coronavirus crisis.
Oyarzabal drilled home after central defender Inigo Martinez brought down Portu after the ball had been needlessly given away to Yeray Alvarez.
The referee originally showed Martinez a red card but changed the decision to yellow after consulting with the VAR. It was a blow his side never recovered from and they failed to create anything in the closing minutes against a rival who closed them down and broke up play with a constant stream of fouls.
The game had only just kicked off when the heavens opened in a heavy rainstorm, with the rain falling in sheets for around 15 minutes, which had the effect of making the playing surface slick and the weight of passes hard to control.
Real Sociedad looked to impose their passing game with David Silva and Mikel Merino moving the ball around the edge of the Athletic penalty area as Alexander Isak worked space.
Raul Garcia had the first chance of the game with a shot he flashed across the face of the Real Sociedad goal from a narrow-angle, while at the other end Yeray Alvarez had to be alert to cut out a couple of dangerous crosses aimed at Isak.
Both sides had spells of attacking football, but although Real Sociedad had more of the ball the only save of the half was by Alex Remiro, who kept our Inigo Martinez’s dipping long-range effort.
The second half kicked off with a long delay as the VAR checked whether Martinez had handled inside the penalty area, before finally deciding on a free-kick just outside of the box.
It set the stage for a stop-start second period in which very little creative football was played, although that won’t worry Real Sociedad, who lift the cup for the first time since 1987. Enditem