Athletic Bilbao will face Real Sociedad in the 2020 Copa del Rey final, the first of its kind to feature these two rivals and the first all-Basque showdown since 1927.
Los Leones advanced to the last round on Thursday despite losing 2-1 at Granada, with a late strike for the visitors enough to seal a 2-2 draw on aggregate and take them through on away goals.
It seemed like fate that former Sociedad defender Yuri Berchiche drilled home the key consolation for Athletic, whose players have likely never been so happy to lose a game.
La Real had an easier time booking their place in the final after beating second-tier Mirandes 3-1 over two legs—2-1 at home and 1-0 away—and look like the favorites to come out on top.
It was already known that this would be the first Copa final in a decade to not feature either Barcelona or Real Madrid, but a Basque Derby decider looks like a dream matchup on paper.
Spain’s celebrated cup competition has attracted praise this season following a string of changes in format, and the Guardian’s Sid Lowe tweeted expectedly of the last fixture:
Only three other all-Basque finals have taken place to date, the most recent of which was 93 years ago when Real Union defeated Arenas 1-0. The 1910 and 1913 tournaments also featured key encounters between Basque teams, though those took place in a round-robin style with no specific final.
Athletic are the second-most successful club in this competition and have won 23 Copa del Rey titles, seven fewer than Barcelona. They’ve lost in their last four final appearances, however, and Sociedad have clinched the trophy more recently (1987) despite winning it on only two occasions.
The 2020 final will take place at the Estadio de La Cartuja in Seville on Saturday, April 18.