Valencia fight back to take valuable draw in Cup semi

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Valencia fought back from 2-0 down to take a 2-2 draw away to Betis in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinal on Thursday.

Betis had looked to be on track when they went 2-0 up 10 minutes into the second half, but on the balance of play it was a fair result to an entertaining and open match.

Things got off to a bad start for the home side when Marc Bartra was forced off after just 10 minutes with a hamstring injury and replaced with Javi Garcia. It wasn't until the 22nd minute that Sergio Canales managed the first shot on target, which Valencia keeper Jaume Domenech saved.

Valencia looked dangerous and Betis keeper Joel Robles did well to save from both Rodrigo Moreno and Santi Mina before Guardado fired just wide for Betis in what was turning into an entertaining semifinal played in front of 60,000 fans in the Benito Villamarin Stadium.

Betis took the lead on the stroke of halftime when Loren Moron got a head on a ball from Joaquin Sanchez to open the scoring.

Joaquin doubled Betis' lead direct from a corner in the 54th minute with the VAR giving the goal as good after showing all the ball had crossed the line before Jaume had been able to punch it clear.

Valencia boss Marcelino Garcia Toral made an important change when he replaced Santi Mina with Kevin Gameiro and also brought Geoffrey Kondogbia into the game. As a result, his side took control of the game and got their reward when Gameiro found space to cross for Deni Cheryshev to head in a vital away goal with 20 minutes left.

From then the game became an end to end affair with Betis getting back on top, but it was Valencia who scored the next goal. Cheryshev had already rattled the crossbar with a header before Gameiro made it 2-2 and gave Valencia the advantage ahead of the return leg in their home ground.

Wednesday saw FC Barcelona and Real Madrid draw 1-1 in Barca's Camp Nou Stadium to leave both ties wide open to be resolved in the second leg, which will be played in three weeks.

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