Real Betis came from behind to beat Rayo Vallecano 2-1 in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final at Vallecas tonight. Alvaro Garcia fired Rayo into a fifth-minute lead only for Borja Iglesias to get Betis back on level terms in the 26th. William Carvalho then managed to win the match with a golazo in the 68th.
Rayo beat Guijuelo, Bergantinos, Mirandes, Girona and Mallorca to make it this far in Spain’s oldest national competition. Betis beat CFI Alicante, Talavera, Real Valladolid, Sevilla, and Real Sociedad to make it to the Spanish capital tonight.
Both clubs have been performing superbly in La Liga this season. Rayo, newly promoted from Segunda, are currently ninth in the league table having taken 31 points from their opening 22 games. They have, however, lost three of their last five.
Betis are flying even higher. The Andalusian outfit are currently third in La Liga, meaning that if the season ended as things stand they’d qualify for next season’s Champions League. They’re currently two points clear of fourth-placed Barcelona and have won two and lost two of their last five.
“This is crazy,” Borja said post-match as carried by Marca when asked about the vocal Betis presence at Vallecas. “I’ve said it several times but we’re very lucky. Nobody else has this.”
The centre-forward was proud of his team but cautious about claiming that the job was done. “There’s a long way to go,” he said. “We’ve already seen how difficult it is to win and there’s just under a month left until the second leg. I think we’ve taken an important step but there’s still a long way to go.
“There’s a lot left to go. We’re happy, we’re at our best. I think that today it was very important to perform after Sunday’s game and we weren’t as comfortable as we would have liked. But hey, this team is hungry and wants to go for it all.”