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Celta held 0-0 by Alaves in Cup semi-fil first leg

Madrid, Feb 3: Iago Aspas and Pablo Herndez both hit the woodwork in an intense second half, but Celta Vigo were held to 0-0 at home to Deportivo Alaves in the first leg of their King’s Cup football semi-fil.

The game may not have had the glamour of Wednesday’s tie between Atletico Madrid and Barcelo, but meant just as much to the 22 players and their fans and that tension was reflected on the pitch on a rain-soaked Balaidos Stadium on Thursday.

The first half was a tight affair with Celta struggling to break down a well-organised and hard-working Alaves, as they had done just a fortnight ago in La Liga.

However, the incessant rain saw the pitch pick up speed and the game opened up: Iago Aspes smashed a shot against the Alaves crossbar in the 66th minute in what was the best chance of the game until that moment.

Celta were once again inches away from scoring in the 88th minute when Herndez got on the end of a far-post cross only to see Alaves keeper Ferndo Pacheco tip his effort onto the post to leave everything up for grabs in the return leg.

On Wednesday, FC Barcelo take a 2-1 first leg lead against Atletico Madrid in the Vicente Calderon Stadium ahead of the return leg in their Camp Nou Stadium. The return leg between Barcelo and Atletico will be played on Tuesday with the match between Alaves and Celta on Wednesday in the Medizorroza Stadium in Vitoria. IANS