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Benzema, Vinicius strike as Real fight back to sink Atletico in extra time

Karim Vinicius Junior and Benzema made it 2-0 in added time. Real Madrid fought back to beat local rivals Atletico 3-1 on Thursday to get to semifinals in the Copa del Rey semifinals.

In the midst of a cold night in an already sold-out Santiago Bernabeu hosting its first game in seven days because of the World Cup break, Real began slow and Atletico faced a number of dangerous counter-attacks.

Atletico captain Koke played a stunning pass to Nahuel Molina who ghosting in behind Real’s defense and the full back created Alvaro Morata, a former Real academy player, to smack the ball into the net in the 19th minute.

Eder Militao missed an opportunity to score within the final minute of the match following Toni Kroos had delivered a perfectly placed cross.

It wasn’t when Dani Ceballos came off the bench to replace injured Ferland Mendy at the end of the second half of the game that Real began to show improvement.

The midfielder, who is 26 years old, brought an energy and enthusiasm to the team , who were more assertive after the break.

Benzema missed two great chances as did Federico Valverde also sent a shot that was a bit wide from the outside of the box.

Substitute Rodrygo was equal in the 79th minute with an amazing goal after dribbling past three players before scoring a goal.

The Kirkland Report: Real Madrid complete another amazing derbi comeback

The game was dominated by Real Madrid in full control, Atletico played most of extra time without 10 players following the incident in which the defender Stefan Savic was shown his second yellow card after chopping off Eduardo Camavinga in the 99th minute.

A minute after, Real substitute Marco Asensio delivered a low cross into the box, and Vinicius’s shot deflected by the defender reached Benzema who launched an unstoppable strike in the net.

Vinicius sealed Real’s victory in the closing seconds of the game by scoring an incredible goal for himself by running the full length of the pitch and scoring via a low shot.

“We were a bit behind early and then after the injury to Mendy, the entire team needed rebuild. We woke up, and performed really well following breaks,” Ceballos told TVE.

“They did much better during the initial half however, the coach reacted during the second. We got the ball under control and got the goal. After getting the yellow card, things became much easier.”

Real Madrid joined Barcelona, Osasuna and Athletic Club in the semifinals.



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