Betis land cup thriller
By Paul Higham. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Real Betis won their first trophy in 28 years on Saturday as they pocketed the 103rd Copa del Rey final in a dramatic 2-1 extra time victory over Osasuna.
Betis went into the final in the Vicente Calderon in Madrid as the favourites, and looked to have sealed victory in 90 minutes when Ricardo Oliveira put them ahead after 74 minutes.
Substitute John Aloisi grabbed a late leveller to give Osasuna hope of landing their first ever trophy, but Dani broke their hearts with a winner six minutes from penalties.
Betis looked like the favourites in the first half as they did most of the pressing, with underdogs Osasuna relying on a muscular approach to try and bully their way into the tie.
Edu wasted a great chance for Seville-based Betis in the 23rd minute when he got his stooping header all wrong when breaking the offside trap.
Oliveira slipped into the left hand side of the box two minutes later, but he skewed his left-footed effort badly wide of the near post.
Oliveira then turned provider as he curled in a great cross from the left for Fernando, but his free header went woefully wide.
Osasuna had to wait until the second half for their first real effort on goal when Richard Morales stung the palms of Betis keeper Antonio Doblas.
However, Betis took a deserved lead in the 74th minute when Oliveira capitalised on some hesitation between skipper Cesar Cruchaga and keeper Elia to nip in between the two and slide home the opener.
Oliveira's goal deflated Osasuna, and Javier Aguirre threw on substitute Aloisi in a bid to try and save the game.
The Australian did his chances of earning a new deal no harm at all when he rose at the far post to head in Ludovic Delporte's cross to draw Osasuna level with just seven minutes left to play.
Neither side could find a late winner and the game went into extra time, when yet more drama was to unfold.
With just six minutes of extra time to play, substitute Dani latched on to fellow replacement Fernando Varela's pass before rifling a fine finish past Elia.
Osasuna, in their first Spanish Cup final, lost their heads with the disappointment, and a mass melee ensued a minute before the end.
Pablo Garcia was then sent off as he lost his head with a wild challenge on Joaquin as the clock ticked down and Betis landed the second Copa del Rey in their history.
The win sealed a superb season for Betis as they added cup success to their UEFA Champions League qualification, while local lad Dani has bounced back from an injury-ravaged season with a dream ending.