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Copa del Rey

Recreativo on course for place in King's Cup final

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ByReuters
06/02/2003 at 23:21

Recreativo Huelva set themselves up for a King's Cup final appearance with a well-earned 2-0 home win over 10-man Osasuna in their semi-final first leg match on Thursday.

Recreativo Huelva set themselves up for a King's Cup final appearance with a well-earned 2-0 home win over 10-man Osasuna in their semi-final first leg match on Thursday.

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The Andalucians, who knocked out Real Betis and Atletico Madrid on their way to the semis, dominated throughout and took an early lead when midfielder Ignacio Benitez netted with a superbly struck shot on 18 minutes.

Osasuna were forced to play practically the whole of the second half with just 10 men after forward Gorka Brit was sent off for insulting a linesman and Recreativo took late advantage when Raul Molina broke away to score his side's second in injury time.

Real Mallorca gained the edge over holders Deportivo Coruna in the other semi-final with an important 3-2 away win at the Riazor on Wednesday.

Recreativo, who like opponents Osasuna have never reached the final of the Cup, began in confident fashion and came close to snatching the lead on seven minutes when Iker Begona's bullet header was touched over the bar by keeper Juan Carlos Unzue.

But there was nothing he could do to prevent Benitez from giving his side the lead.

The midfielder threaded a stinging left foot shot through a forest of players and into the far corner after an Osasuna clearance fell to him on the edge of the area.

Osasuna never really found their rhythm and only had one real scoring effort in the first half when Uruguayan striker Richard Morales fired straight at keeper Jose Luque.

The Navarrans, who are coached by former Mexican national team boss Javier Aguirre, sparked into life after the break and went in search of an equaliser.

Brit caused problems for Luque with a sharp shot on 49 minutes and midfielder Inaki Munoz went close with a long range effort. But Brit let his team mates down soon after with his sending off.

Recreativo took advantage in injury time when substitute striker Molina raced through to score.

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