Pablo Ibanez’s stunning volley helped shock Osasuna Athletic Bilbao in extra time to reach the Copa del Rey final with a 1-1 draw on Tuesday, advancing 2-1 on aggregate.
The game was tight throughout and only an outstanding display from Osasuna goalkeeper Sergio Herrera and a superb finish forced the game to additional time.
Inaki Williams struck in the 33rd minute to cancel out Ez Abde’s first goal for Osasuna, but Athletic could not find a winner, and Ibanez struck home from the edge of the box with four minutes remaining. surprised San Mames.
Ibanez’s efforts helped Osasuna achieve the Copa del Rey ending for the first time in 18 years, and for the second time in their history, with the club not lifting the trophy.
Jagoba Arrasate’s side beat Real Betis and Sevilla in their cup final and will face the winners of Barcelona or Spanish and European champions Real Madrid in the final on May 6.
“At this moment, I have no words, we suffered like dogs throughout the game,” Ibanez told Movistar.
“(This goal) is for all those who are happy above who are shouting, it is something that cannot be explained.
“We knew it could happen, they could score against us. We suffered, we kept working and in the end we got our reward.
“Now that we are here we have to dream and go for it. I don’t care if it is Madrid or Barca, we will keep dreaming.”
Their first cup match went to extra time, along with their round of 32 tie with Gimnastic, where Ibanez was fired.
Athletic have reached the semi-finals in four consecutive seasons, but have not lifted the trophy since 1984. They have lost six times since their last win.
“There are a lot of opportunities for the result to happen, but in football sometimes these things happen,” said Inaki Williams.
“We are very sad, troubled, we try to pick our heads and come back.”
Athletic coach Ernesto Valverde chose Iker Muniain in the attack in the middle, and Oihan Sancet was installed a little deeper, instead of Dani Garcia, as the team tried to turn the tie.
The game started with a 10-minute delay after the Osasuna coach was kept outside the stadium for more than half an hour due to the crowd.
Backed by their fans, Athletic started well and Herrera denied Gorka Guruzeta.
Nico Williams curled a shot narrowly wide of the near post after 25 minutes as Valverde’s side continued to push, with Herrera stopping Oscar de Marcos’ header.
Inaki Williams eventually opened the scoring after 33 minutes, staying up to cleverly head Mikel Vesga from the penalty spot.
His first goal since October for Athletic, ending a run of 18 games without a goal, statistically his worst at the club.
Kanan’s son turned around after a short break, but this time he jumped out as he reached for his brother Nico’s cross.
In the remaining 20 minutes, Inaki fed Nico, who should have scored at the end of the electric strike, but he shot over the bar and the Athletic fans cried.
The Basque side set a home attendance record of more than 51,500, and they were disappointed again when Herrera’s header from Inigo Martinez was well struck at his near post.
That feeling only grew when Herrera denied Raul Garcia and Nico Williams hit the rebound high on the stands with a goal chance.
Osasuna held on for extra time, with their backs to the wall and relying on their goal.
Chimy Avila fired for the visitors with a rare forward strike near the end of the first period of extra time. If it was a warning, it was ignored.
As the game went to penalties, Jon Moncayola crossed and Ibanez fired a first-time volley that flew into the top corner to give Osasuna a decisive victory.
It was their first goal since Abde’s first goal on March 1.
Barcelona hosted Real Madrid in the second semi-final on Wednesday, holding a 1-0 lead