Sevilla draw with Real Betis

Sevilla, were held to a goalless draw at home to Real Betis in the quarter-final first leg of the Copa del Rey.

updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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For lovers of the Seville derby, Thursday's first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter final between Sevilla and Real Betis was the first of three meetings between the sides in February. A Spanish league encounter at Betis is sandwiched between this two-legged last eight fixture but, if the opening match was anything to go by, there will be precious few supporters in the stands come the second leg at the end of the month. For all the energy and bluster between two teams - with a rivalry that goes back almost a century - there was almost zero creativity and not a single effort on target could be registered. When Real Betis striker Dani headed wide from a Marcos Asuncao free kick in the 37th minute, it was the first real goalmouth incident of the match and a loose Jesus Navas shot two minutes before the break represented the home side's best opportunity. The second period lacked none of the physical effort of the first, but again both goals remained unthreatened. Luis Fabiano shot high and wide from a tight angle six minutes after the restart for Sevilla, the current UEFA Cup holders and high flyers in this season's La Liga campaign. Betis, the conquerors of Real Madrid in the previous round of the Spanish Cup, replied with an effort from Argentine new boy Caffa a minute later, but the ball flew wide of the mark. A goal for Sevilla was almost, but not quite, manufactured 12 minutes from time. Substitute Jose Luis Marti curled a free-kick into the Betis penalty area, La Liga's top scorer Frederic Kanoute got some kind of contact on the ball, but with the Betis 'keeper Pedro Contreras lying on the ground, the ball looped harmlessly over the crossbar. 0-0 it ended and this match will probably go down in the long and illustrious history of Seville derbies as the least memorable of them all. Sevilla travel to Betis to play out a league fixture in ten days time before the teams meet again in the second leg of this quarter final at the end of the month.