Barcelona force last-gasp draw against Valencia

February 28th, 2008 - 11:57 pm ICT by admin  

Madrid, Feb 28 (DPA) Barcelona needed an injury-time equaliser to force a 1-1 draw at home to Valencia in an intense semi-final first leg match for the Spanish King’s Cup. Xavi Hernandez Wednesday levelled for Barcelona in the third minute of injury time after David Villa had given Valencia a shock lead on the hour.

Villa had broken the deadlock against the run of play in the 60th minute by turning in a Javier Arizmendi centre from the right at the near post.

Valencia then did well to keep Lionel Messi under control, though the Argentine did force several sharp saves from Timo Hildebrand.

The German keeper then made spectacular late saves against Gabriel Milito and Yaya Toure with Barcelona desperate to equalise.

In the 93rd minute, Hildebrand saved well from Samuel Eto’o, only for Xavi to make it 1-1 by putting away the rebound with a low drive.

The return leg will be played on March 20 in Valencia. By then, Valencia might have a new president, with the unpopular Juan Soler trying to sell his shares in the club after a traumatic season.

Valencia have not reached the cup final since 1999 and Barcelona since 1998.

The other semi-final will be played between Getafe and Racing Santander.

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