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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » King's Cup: holders Valencia win

King's Cup: holders Valencia win

January 22, 2009 10:40 IST

Juan Mata's deflected late winner gave holders Valencia a 3-2 victory over 2007 winners Sevilla in the first leg of their King's Cup quarter-final on Wednesday.

The Spain international picked up the ball in the penalty area in the 86th minute and unleashed a low drive which spooned up off Sebastien Squillaci and over Andres Palop into the net.

A defensive howler by Adriano Correia had gifted Valencia their opening goal after five minutes. Striker David Villa intercepted the Brazilian's wayward backpass, rounded Palop and drove the ball into the empty net from a narrow angle.

Sevilla brought on winger Diego Capel for Jesus Navas at the break and his cross from the right led to the equaliser.

Valencia goalkeeper Vicente Guaita rushed off his line but the 21-year-old missed his attempted punch and Luis Fabiano leapt to nod the ball home.

The Valencia players were furious with the officials after Correia made it 2-1 on 67 minutes.

Replays showed the Brazilian was several metres offside when the ball was played through but the referee allowed the goal to stand after Correia sent a crisp finish past Guaita.

Ruben Baraja equalised in the 84th minute with a low shot and Mata grabbed a valuable lead for the home side before the return leg next week.

In Wednesday's other quarter-final, struggling Espanyol host city rivals and Primera Liga leaders Barcelona, the first game for new Espanyol coach Mauricio Pochettino.

Athletic Bilbao host Sporting Gijon and Real Betis play at Real Mallorca in Thursday's quarter-finals.

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