Sevilla crowned Kings of Spain
The Andalucians defeat Getafe 1-0 in the King's Cup final to cap a stunning season.
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2007 08:22 GMT

Sevilla lifted the King's Cup for the first time since 1948 with a 1-0 win over Getafe in Madrid [AFP]

Spanish Primera League side Sevilla capped an outstanding season with victory in the King's Cup final after a first-half strike from leading scorer Frederic Kanoute was enough to give them a 1-0 win over Bernd Schuster's Getafe at the Bernabeu on Saturday.
Kanoute, the former West Ham United and Tottenham striker, scored what would be the eventual winner in a tight, hot-tempered contest when he raced clear from a few metres inside the Getafe half and stroked the ball past goalkeeper Luis Garcia after 11 minutes.

However the evening ended on a low note for the Mali forward when he was sent off with a straight red card for retaliating after being fouled in the dying minutes of the game.

For Sevilla, however, it was a fitting end to a brilliant campaign that began with victory over Barcelona in the European Super Cup and continued with a successful defence of the Uefa Cup when they beat fellow Spaniards Espanyol last month.

"I can't find the words to explain a season like this," Javi Navarro, Sevilla captain, said.

"It's going to take time for all of this to sink in.

"We've made a huge effort and now we've been rewarded for it."

Getafe coach Schuster won six King's Cups as a player but his luck deserted him this time as the first-time finalists fought hard for the duration of the match, but lacked the firepower to break down the tough Sevilla defence.

There was some consolation for Getafe, however, as they will play in the Uefa Cup next season because Sevilla have qualified for the Champions League through their third placing in La Liga.

Electric atmosphere

Spanish King Juan Carlos, left, hands his cup
to Sevilla captain Javi Navarro [EPA]

Although Getafe hail from a modest satellite town to the south of the Spanish capital, their supporters were heavily outnumbered at the Bernabeu by the thousands of Sevilla fans who had travelled up from the south.

The Andalucians responded to the electric atmosphere with a high-tempo start, but it was Getafe who had the first chance to take the lead.

Swiss midfielder Fabio Celestini put striker Daniel Guiza through, but Sevilla keeper Andres Palop thwarted the goal-scoring chance when he snatched the ball from the forward's feet.

A minute later, opposite number Kanoute gave Guiza a masterclass in finishing when he swooped on a loose ball after an error by centre-back Ruben Pulido on the halfway line, before heading for goal and clinically steering a low shot into the net.

Juande Ramos's side were denied a second when Garcia beat away a fierce drive from midfielder Renato after good work by fellow Brazilians Luis Fabiano and Daniel Alves.

Late drama

Getafe fought back hard in the final 10 minutes of the first half, and although they gave the Sevilla back four a couple of scares, they were unable to trouble Palop.

The Andalucians remained in control for most of the second period but were unable to extend their advantage.

The match was marred by a series of flare-ups in the closing minutes with Kanoute receiving his marching orders for kicking out after a foul by Francisco Casquero.

It mattered little to the 50,000 Sevilla fans packed into the Bernabeu, as they exploded with delight at the final whistle as their team won their first King's Cup since 1948.

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