Nico Williams and his elder brother, Ianki celebrating their Copa triumph
Nico Williams and his elder brother, Ianki celebrating their Copa triumph

Williams brothers make history in Spanish football

Inaki Williams and Nico Williams were seen having an emotional embrace after making football history in Athletic Bilbao's dramatic Copa del Rey final win last Saturday night.


 The Spanish side ended their 40-year wait to win the competition after beating Mallorca 4-2 on penalties after a tense 1-1 draw left two sides that could not be separated following 120 minutes of high-intensity football at the Estadio de La Cartuja in Seville.

The brothers both started the match, with Nico picking up an assist for Bilbao's only goal, before watching their team-mates win the tie from the spot. 

Dani Rodriguez sent Mallorca ahead in the first half but Oihan Sancet levelled soon after the break and the sides could not be separated until penalties.

Athletic goalkeeper Julen Agirrezabala saved Manu Morlanes' penalty and Mallorca's Nemanja Radonjic lashed another spot kick over the bar, with Athletic converting all four of theirs to triumph.

Alex Berenguer stroked home the winning penalty to spark wild celebrations among the hordes of travelling Basque support.

Ernesto Valverde's Athletic, defeated in their six previous appearances in the final, brought an era of almosts to a close with a hard-fought win.

Having beaten Barcelona and Atletico Madrid en route to the final, Los Leones were able to secure the club's first major trophy since a domestic league and cup double in 1984.

"This is incredible, we've made history," man-of-the-match Nico Williams told TVE.

"The team worked hard, the fans are always with us and they deserve it, I've dreamed of this for a long time."

In the final for the fourth time, the islanders took the lead after 21 minutes through Rodriguez's perfectly placed finish.

After Giovanni Gonzalez's shot was blocked and Jose Copete's effort was saved, Rodriguez carefully placed the ball into the top corner, past Athletic's Dani Vivian on the line.

 Nico's night 

When Los Leones did create anything it came from the outstanding Nico Williams, and he slotted home after 39 minutes but was offside.

Yuri Berchiche blocked well to deny Copete as Mallorca had a sight of goal for their second, before Nico Williams fired into the side netting after breaking into the area.

Agirrezabala thwarted Canada international Cyle Larin early in the second half before Athletic found the equaliser.

Again Nico Williams was heavily involved, sliding a pass into the box for Sancet to gleefully stroke beyond Mallorca goalkeeper Dominik Greif to delight Athletic's raucous travelling support.

A brilliant dribble by Nico Williams almost helped the Basques take the lead but his cross flashed through his brother Inaki Williams' legs, with the Ghana international unable to react in time to finish. —

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