COPA DEL REY

Real Madrid clinches semifinals place

AT WHAT COST
Real Madrid's Iker Casillas leaves the field injured during their a Copa del Rey match.
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Real Madrid progressed to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey despite having two men red-carded and goalkeeper Iker Casillas forced off by injury in a 1-1 draw against Valencia on Wednesday.

Jose Mourinho's side thumped Los Che 5-0 at the Mestalla at the weekend in the league and while there was plenty of action again tonight, it was for different reasons.

Casillas' hand injury on 18 minutes, after he suffered a kick to his hand, began a memorable night in which the result was all but confirmed by Karim Benzema's 44th-minute goal.

That gave Madrid a 3-0 advantage in the tie although they made life hard for themselves after the break.

Casillas was kicked in the left hand by teammate Alvaro Arbeloa while clearing a loose ball in the area in the 13th minute of the Copa del Rey match that Madrid drew 1-1, classifying it for the semifinals on a 3-1 aggregate score.

After being looked at by team doctors on the pitch, Casillas was seen shaking his head before walking off in obvious pain. He spent the second half on Madrid's bench with an ice pack on his hand. Casillas said that he would undergo tests to determine the extent of the injury, which he identified as being in his thumb.

''I'm OK, but there is something the doctor doesn't like,'' said Casillas. ''I knew something was wrong when I was hit.''

Fabio Coentrao saw red on 51 minutes and moments later Tino Costa pulled back a goal.

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It proved only consolation, however, as the hosts failed to made any further inroads before Angel Di Maria saw red two minutes from the end.

Sevilla progressed with a 4-0 win after Real Zaragoza also finished with nine men. Jose Manuel Fernandez was given his marching orders on 26 minutes before Alvaro Negredo scored the first of his double 10 minutes later.

Ivan Rakitic made it 2-0 at half-time - after the teams had been locked at 0-0 after the first leg - and Zaragoza's hopes evaporated when Fran Gonzalez was also red carded on 66 minutes.

Negredo converted from the spot before substitute Manu completed a wide-margin win in injury time.

The Associated Press was used in this report.

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