MADRID -- A 13th-minute goal by midfielder Julen Guerrero helped Athletic Bilbao to book its place in the last four of the King's
Cup with a 1-0 win over Villarreal in a quarterfinal, second leg tie.
The goal gave Athletic a 3-0 aggregate victory and ensured that the Basque side, who has won the Cup 23 times in its history, made the
semis for the first time in 15 seasons.
Guerrero's goal ended any hopes of a Villarreal comeback and Athletic was able to ease off for the rest of the match against its
Although Jupp Heynckes's side moved into second place in the first division this weekend after a 2-1 win over local rivals Real
Sociedad, the club has a poor home record this season.
Spearheaded in attack by the in-form Ismael Urzaiz, the team succeeded in catching a passive Villarreal defense off guard on several occasions
The powerfully-built center forward, who has notched 10 league goals this season, headed a fine cross from Aitor Larrazabal just wide after
Three minutes later the same combination succeeded in carving open the Villarreal defense once again, but this time Urzaiz saw his
first-time shot skim the bar.
But at the third attempt Athletic got its reward.
Larrazabal's pass allowed Francisco Yeste to tear down the left wing and dart into the area. The young midfielder then cut a neat pass back
to teammate Guerrero, who had time to pick his spot before slotting home.
Now needing three goals to turn the tie around Villarreal threw more men into attack, but its only clear chance came just after the half-hour
Guayre saw his angled shot turned wide by 'keeper Daniel Aranzubia after he had picked up a sharp pass from Quique Martin and weaved
his way past three defenders.
Villarreal coach Victor Munoz threw on new signing Juan Antonio Pizzi to spice up the attack in the second half but his efforts were to no
avail and Athletic's win never looked in doubt.
The remaining quarterfinal matches will be played on Wednesday, with Real Madrid clear favorites to join Athletic in the semis after a
4-0 first leg win over city rivals Rayo Vallecano.
If Figueres can defend its 2-0 first leg win against Cordoba, the club will become the first third division side in the history of the competition to
make the final four.