Nine-man Real sneak into Cup semis

Iker Casillas

 

Real Madrid survived red cards for Fabio Coentrao and Angel Di Maria, and an injury to Iker Casillas, to draw 1-1 in Valencia, and qualify for the King’s Cup semifinals 3-1 on aggregate on Wednesday.

 

Karim Benzema netted just before halftime to put Jose Mourinho’s side 3-0 up in the tie, before Coentrao picked up a second yellow card for a handball in the 51st minute.

 

Valencia pulled a goal back from the ensuing freekick when Tino Costa’s low freekick surprised Real’s reserve keeper Antonio Adan.

 

Adan had to replace Casillas in the 15th minute after Real defender Alvaro Arbeloa accidentally kicked his left hand while trying to clear a loose ball in the area.

 

Di Maria picked up a foolish red card two minutes from time after kicking out at Valencia defender Joao Pereira as the two tussled for a ball.

 

Real will face either holders Barcelona or Malaga in the last four. Barca visit the Rosaleda on Thursday with their tie level at 2-2.

 

“We came with a healthy advantage from the home leg and after the first goal it got tricky,” Real midfielder Xabi Alonso told Spanish television.

 

“With a player less we played an intelligent game.”

 

On the other side of the draw, Alvaro Negredo scored twice to help Sevilla past nine-man Real Zaragoza with a 4-0 quarterfinal second leg victory.

 

The Spain striker netted with a header and a penalty, while Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic and Manu del Moral grabbed the others to complete a 4-0 aggregate win.

 

Zaragoza had defender Jose Fernandez sent off with a straight red card after only 26 minutes, and midfielder Fran Gonzalez followed him down the tunnel in the 66th, after giving away the penalty for Sevilla’s third.

 

The 2010 Cup winners will meet either Atletico Madrid or city rivals Real Betis in the last four. Atletico, who lost against Sevilla in the final three years ago, hold a 2-0 advantage ahead of Thursday’s trip to play Betis.

 

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