Adebayor nets first goal as Real reach Kings Cup final

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Real Madrid will face arch rivals Barcelona in a mouthwatering Kings Cup final after Jose Mourinho’s Madrid side defeated holders Sevilla 2-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday to reach their first final since 2004.

Togo forward Emmanuel Adebayor scored his first Real goal deep in stoppage time to add to an 81st minute strike from German international midfielder Mesut Ozil, as Real won the semi-final tie 3-0 on aggregate and eased the pressure on coach Mourinho.

The Portuguese now has the chance to win his first trophy with the club by lifting Madrid’s first Kings Cup since 1993.

The two powerhouses of Spanish football, Real and Barcelona, will face off in the final with Mourinho hoping to fare better than in the league when his side lost 5-0 to Barcelona at Camp Nou.

Barcelona defeated Almeria 3-0 on Wednesday to cruise into their second final in three seasons with an 8-0 aggregate win.

Real had tasted a shock 1-0 defeat at Osasuna on Sunday to fall seven points behind Barcelona in the league, but had the comfort of home advantage where they had won all their league games.

With just four minutes gone Argentine winger Angel di Maria watched his drive crash off the post as Sevilla survived.

In the 10th minute Real old boy Alvaro Negredo thought he had levelled the tie for Sevilla after lobbing the ball over Iker Casillas, however, the goal was ruled out for a marginal offside.

Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo should have scored on the half hour mark but goalkeeper Javi Varas, deputising for the suspended Andres Palop, saved the day.

Di Maria fed Ronaldo who seemed certain to score but Varas was out quickly and foiled the former Manchester United man with an outstretched leg.

At half-time Madrid knew they were in the final due to their 1-0 first leg win, while Sevilla knew they had to come up with a goal.

The visitors posed little threat though and the excellent Varas denied di Maria on 67 minutes to keep them in the tie.

Madrid wanted a goal to put the game to bed but had to wait until nine minutes from time with Ozil showing great composure to go around the goalkeeper and stroke home.

Sevilla knew the game was up and Sergio Sanchez was sent off minutes later for hacking down substitute Adebayor.

With the final whistle seconds away Adebayor, on loan from Manchester City, scored his first goal for Madrid, controlling a cross on his chest before firing into the roof of the net.

Earlier Adriano and Ibrahim Afellay scored their first goals for Barcelona as Pep Guardiola’s side cruised into the final and stay on course for the treble.

Barcelona had won the first leg 5-0 and a second-string side finished off the job with Brazilian Adriano, teenager Thiago Alcantara and Afellay all on target as the club reached their second cup final in three seasons.

“Reaching two finals in three seasons says a lot about our players,” said Guardiola. “It has been the toughest month and everyone has played a part. I was delighted to see Thiago (Alcantara), (Ibrahim) Afellay and Adriano score tonight.”

With 34 minutes gone the visitors got a deserved lead through a fine individual goal from Adriano.

Adriano cut in from the left flank, poked the ball through one opponent’s legs and then stroked home for his first Barcelona goal.

On 55 minutes 19-year-old Thiago, the latest Barca youth product, bulleted in a header from a Dani Alves cross and ten minutes later Afellay drilled home his first goal for Barcelona following his January move from PSV Eindhoven.

Record winners Barcelona, who have won the competition 25 times, are now dreaming of repeating their 2009 treble when they won the Champions League, league title and Kings Cup.

For Almeria, who were thrashed 8-0 by Barcelona in the league, it was the end of a cup run that saw them reach the last four for the first time in their history, and now they have to concentrate on fighting relegation.

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