EFE.- Rayo Vallecano-Real Betis and Athletic Bilbao-Valencia will be the semifinals of the Copa del Rey 2021/22, according to the draw held this afternoon at the headquarters of the Spanish Federation (RFEF).
Rayo reaches the semifinals for the second time in its history after getting rid of Guijuelo, Bergantiños, Mirandés, Girona and Mallorca in previous rounds, while Betis did the same with Independiente Alicante, Talavera de la Reina, Valladolid, Seville and Real Sociedad .
This will be the fourth time that Rayo and Betis have met in the Copa del Rey, with a record of two wins for the Sevillian team, winner of the title twice, and one for the Madrid team, which has never reached the final.
The first time the two met in the Copa del Rey was in the 1990/1991 season, in the fifth round of the competition. In the first leg, in Vallecas, the result was a draw (0-0) and in the second leg, at the Benito Villamarín, Betis won (2-0) with goals from Chano and Bilek.
The second time that the draw provided a confrontation between Betis and Rayo was in the 1996/1997 campaign. In the first leg, in Seville, the Verdiblanco team won (2-0) and in the second leg, in Vallecas, the Andalusian team also won (1-2) with goals from Tomás Olías and Juan José Cañas.
The last precedent was that of the 1999/2000 season, a single match, in the round of 32 tie played at the Vallecas stadium. The result after regulation time was a draw (2-2) and the tie had to be decided on penalties with victory for Rayo 4-2.
The other semifinal of the Copa del Rey is the one between Athletic Club de Bilbao, winner of the title on 23 occasions, and Valencia, who have lifted it eight times.
So far, Athletic has eliminated Mancha Real, Barcelona and Real Madrid so far in the competition, while Valencia got rid of Utrillas, Arenteiro, Cartagena, Atlético Baleares and Cádiz.
This will be the ninth time that Valencia and Athletic have faced each other in the Copa del Rey, and they met on four of those occasions in the final, with a record of two wins for each.
In the finals of 1944 and 1945 the victory went to Athletic, while in those of 1949 and 1967 the victory went to Valencia.
That 1967 final was the last time Valencia and Athletic met in the Copa del Rey. On that occasion, the Ché team won 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabéu with goals from Jara and Paquito.
In the previous round, in the semifinals, they met twice, in the 1942/1943 and 1949/1950 seasons. In both, Athletic went to the final.
The first leg matches will be played in Vallecas and San Mamés on February 9 and 10, while the return matches will be at Benito Villamarín and Mestalla on March 2 and 3.
The final will be played at the La Cartuja stadium in Seville on April 23.
As a novelty in the regulations, the team that scores the most goals will go from the round to the final, since the double value of the goals achieved as a visitor disappears, reported the Royal Spanish Football Federation. If there was a tie, the tie would be decided in extra time and then on penalties.