MADRID: Diego Costa scored two penalties to give 10-man Atletico Madrid a 2-1 home win over nine-man Sevilla on Thursday in an incident-packed first leg of their Kinfs’ Cup semifinal that featured three penalties from handballs.
The Brazilian forward filled in nicely for injured top scorer Radamel Falcao, who has been out since Jan.20, by triggering both of Sevilla’s dismissals in addition to taking his brace.
“Like the rest of my team-mates, I just tried to give it my all,” he said.
Atletico have won all 19 games at their Vicente Calderon stadium this season across all competitions.
Barcelona drew 1-1 at Real Madrid on Wednesday in the opening match of the other semifinal.
The return legs for both ties will be played in the last week of February.
The opening half hour produced more fouls than flowing play, with Atletico getting the better part of the rough-and-tumble start before they began to turn their possession into clear scoring chances.
Sevilla goalkeeper Antonio “Beto” Bastos, playing his first game since arriving on Wednesday from Sporting Braga, saved Jorge “Koke” Resurrecion’s low strike before Adrian Lopez and Diego Costa both missed from close.