Henry goal puts Barcelona into Spanish cup semi-finals

Society Materials 1 February 2008 06:55 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Thierry Henry put Barcelona into the semi-finals of the Spanish King's Cup Thursday by scoring the only goal in a tight 1-0 win over Villarreal.

The win puts Barca into the semis on a 1-0 aggregate, since the first leg was a tense 0-0 draw in Villarreal last Thursday.

Henry scored the crucial goal in the 41st minute, by heading in a free-kick from fellow veteran Deco.

Before and after the goal Villarreal defender Pacal Cygan picked up yellow cards for fouls on the tricky Lionel Messi, leaving his side with 10 men for the whole of the second half.

Barca took advantage of their numerical superiority to dominate, but failed to ease the tension by scoring a second goal.

In the 74th minute the hosts were given a penalty after Villarreal keeper Diego Lopez pulled down teenager Bojan Krkic. But Lopez made amends by saving Messi's weak spot-kick.

Barca - who have not won the cup for 10 years - now join Racing Santander, Getafe and Valencia in the semi-finals.

Earlier on Thursday Santander booked their place with a defiant 3-3 draw in Bilbao, which puts them through on a 5-3 aggregate.

On Wednesday Getafe went through on the away goals rule despite losing 2-1 away to Mallorca, whom they had beaten 1-0 at home.

Also on Wednesday, Valencia eased their crisis by edging through at the expense of Atletico Madrid.

Valencia scaped through on the away goals rule after a 3-3 aggregate draw. They had beaten Atletico 1-0 at home last week, and qualify despite losing 3-2 in Madrid on Wednesday.

Success in the cup has provided some relief for unpopular Valencia coach Ronald Koeman, whose troubled team have not won in La Liga for 10 matches.

The draw for the semi-finals will be held in Madrid on Friday.

The first leg of the semis will be played on February 27, the second leg on March 19.