Athletic Club end painful 40-year trophy drought with Copa triumph over Mallorca

La Liga outfit Athletic Club have on Saturday night brought to an end the club’s painful silverware drought.

This comes owing to a hard-fought triumph in the finale of the Copa del Rey.

Ernesto Valverde’s troops marked their return to action a short time ago, locking horns with RCD Mallorca, with the first major trophy of the Spanish campaign on the line.

It was the latter who opened the scoring in proceedings, courtesy of Dani Rodríguez’s finish on the 20-minute mark.

Athletic, though, knuckled down, dragging themselves back on level terms through Oihan Sancet early in the 2nd-half.

From here, the two sides could not be separated through either the 90, or 120-minute marks.

Proceedings at the Estadio La Cartuja, as a result, were sent to a penalty shootout.

And, when all was said and done, it was Athletic who held their nerve, converting four of their spot-kicks to Mallorca’s two, to bring silverware back to the Basque Country for the first time in 40 years.

Congratulations, Athletic Club!

Conor Laird | GSFN

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