Yuri Berchiche’s Late Cup Goal Against Granada Now One Of The Biggest Moments In Athletic History
Athletic’s dream of winning the Copa del Rey title has survived a multitude of trials and tribulations. From a second minute red card against Tenerife and two penalty shootouts to eliminating Barcelona with a late goal at San Mamés the Lions just seemed destined to reach the final. Then, fate looked to be failing in the semifinal second leg against Granada where one last miracle was needed.
After winning the first leg 1-0 in Bilbao, the Basques surrendered two second half goals at Nuevo Estadio de Los Cármenes and were on the brink of elimination. Scoring just one away goal would completely turn the tie around and, in true fashion, Athletic never gave up hope.
With less than 10 minutes left to play the magic moment would come. Mikel Vesga played Yuri Berchiche into the left side of the box as defenders scrambled to close down space. With two touches Berchiche set up a shot from a tight angle and blasted a low strike into the back of the net which silenced the stadium.
The Athletic fans who had made the trip to Granada erupted and the sidelines were full of celebration. Berchiche’s late goal sent Athletic through to the Copa del Rey final which, as a result, also qualified the Lions for next season’s Spanish Super Cup. Little did anyone know at the time, the strike would come to mean even more.
In light of the ongoing health crisis the decision has been made to officially postpone the Cup final until fans can safely attend the match. This almost certainly means it won’t take place until next season and, if that is the case, Athletic will qualify for Europe as a reward for reaching the final which has been approved by UEFA.
With one kick of the ball Yuri Berchiche booked Athletic’s place in the Copa del Rey final, the Spanish Super Cup, and the Europa League. The late goal at Nuevo Estadio de Los Cármenes was absolutely massive at the time and has now become one of the biggest moments in recent Athletic Club history.
— Yuri Berchiche (@yuriberchiche) April 21, 2020