Valencia reach Copa del Rey semis on Rodrigo hat trick

Valencia, Jan 30: Rodrigo Moreno scored three times -- twice in stoppage time -- to power Valencia CF 3-1 over Getafe in the second leg of their Copa del Rey quarterfinal tie for a 3-2 aggregate win.

Leading 1-0 after the first leg in suburban Madrid, the visitors looked to have assured their berth in the semifinals when Jorge Molina scored just 38 seconds into the contest in front of 34,000 people at Valencia's Mestalla stadium here on Tuesday, reports Efe news.

Conceding the away goal meant that Valencia would have to score at least three to prevail in the tie.

The home side responded with plenty of effort and enthusiasm, yet Getafe disrupted their attack with sound defence and opportunistic takeaways that forced Valencia to chase the ball.

Valencia's Santi Mina had a goal called back for offside in the opening minutes of the second half and Getafe remained comfortably in control until the 61st minute when Rodrigo burst through on the left side and beat keeper Leandro Chichizola to make it 1-1 on the night and 2-1 for the visitors overall.

The match opened up after that and both sides grew more physical, as reflected in the expulsion of Getafe defender Djene Dakonam in the 74th minute for a second yellow card.

The 10-man visiting squad fell back to defend their narrow advantage and Valencia flew forward to besiege Chichizola's goal.

Getafe held off the onslaught until the second minute of stoppage time when Rodrigo got his second of the night to level the tie at 2-2.

He completed the triple a minute later for the victory.

Valencia's Mouctar Diakhaby was sent off in the dying seconds and the final whistle was followed by some pushing and shoving between the opposing sides.

Police eventually intervened to break up the melee and escort the teams to their respective dressing rooms.

"This is how soccer is and how this team is," man of the match Rodrigo said afterward. "We show character. We have been showing it since the start of the season, though things don't come out well. This is what we are. Thanks to the people for their support."

He put the fracas at the end of the game down to Getafe's competitive spirit and their style of football.

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