VALENCIA, Spain – Valencia and Betis fought to a scoreless tie in an intense, frenetic match, but one in which there were few scoring opportunities and in which Betis dominated the first half and Valencia the second.
Inui in the first half had the most promising shot at goal for the Seville squad, while Valencia’s Parejo bounced the ball off the crossbar in the second period.
The game began with absolute dominance by Betis, which with quick, precise moves kept the ball in its possession, and in many ways looked to be the winning team – while Valencia ran relentlessly after the ball but got very little control of it.
Despite that, at almost 15 minutes into the game, Valencia had the first real chance to score when Gameiro made a shot that was, however, without power.
Then it was Betis’ turn when Japanese soccer player Inui maneuvered the ball to the Valencia goal, but Piccini blocked the attempt at the goal line.
Following that play, the match settled into a very even contest, partly because of the interruptions for fouls and penalty cards that seemed to upset Betis’ rhythm of play, but also because Valencia stole some of its rival’s previously constant possession of the ball and so ended the dominance of Quique Setien’s squad.
In the second half, both coaches made team changes to improve their fortunes, with Guedes taking the field with the local team and Joaquin with the visitors. But nothing changed.
From that moment, Valencia went more on the attack, boosted its ball possession and threatened the goal guarded by Pau Lopez, without, however, getting any clear chances to score.
Betis no longer owned the game as in the first half and went largely on the defense, but the end was fought intensely, with both sides seeking the one goal that would mean victory. Neither found it.