Spurs end Newport's Cup run at the second attempt

Tottenham’s Fernando Llorente heads wide as Newport County's Joe Day looks on during the FA Cup Fourth Round Replay at Wembley Stadium in London on Wednesday. — Reuters

LONDON — Tottenham Hotspur finally ended lowly Newport County's brave FA Cup run with a 2-0 win in a fourth-round replay at Wembley on Wednesday.

Eight-time winners Spurs were just eight minutes away from a humiliating exit when England striker Harry Kane scored to salvage a 1-1 draw away to fourth-tier Newport last month.

But it was a different story at Wembley where, with South Korea's Son Heung-Min impressing for Tottenham, Dan Butler's 26th-minute own goal and an Erik Lamela strike eight minutes later put Spurs 2-0 up before half-time. Tottenham will now travel to third-tier strugglers Rochdale for a last-16 tie on the weekend of February 17-18.

"It's the FA Cup and it's difficult," Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino told the BBC. "But I am happy because we wanted to be in the next round. "Son Heung-Min is doing fantastic this season and he feels important. It is important to keep going and winning games. We are going to be very busy in the Premier League, Champions League and the FA Cup but we want to keep this run."

Meanwhile Newport manager Michael Flynn praised the visitors' performance. "It was a good start in the first 25 minutes, but the manner of the goal, the way it went in, it took it out of the boys and deflated them," he said. "I am very proud of the players. They put in a huge amount of work and they have done themselves and the club proud."

But not even the lure of a fixture at Wembley, Spurs' temporary home while a new ground that will replace White Hart Lane is constructed, could stop Newport midfielder Sean Rigg quitting between the two ties to become a tattoo artist.

The FA Cup has been a huge financial boost for Newport, with their run to this stage earning them at least £700,000 ($972,000, 792,000 euros).

But the concern for the Welsh club was that the chance of an upset had come and gone at their Rodney Parade ground, where a goal from Irish striker Padraig Amond put them on course for a famous giant-killing.

Newport were far from overawed in the replay and they were unlucky when a cross from Moussa Sissoko deflected off Butler and past stranded goalkeeper Joe Day to put Spurs ahead.

It was not long before Spurs had their second goal, when Lamela, getting on the end of a well-weighted through ball from Son, scored for the first time since finding the net against Gillingham in September 2016.

Spurs were comfortable in the second half but late in the game Amond had a chance to add a Wembley goal to his one at Rodney Parade in the original tie only to shoot at Michel Vorm.

Sevilla halt Leganes

run to reach final

Joaquin Correa and Franco Vazquez scored as Sevilla advanced to a second Copa del Rey final in three years on Wednesday following a 3-1 aggregate victory over Leganes. After a 1-1 draw in last week's first leg, Correa fired Sevilla ahead in the tie when he tucked home a cutback from Luis Muriel with 15 minutes gone at the Sanchez Pizjuan.

Leganes had stunned European champions Real Madrid last month to progress to the semi-finals of the domestic cup competition for the first time in the club's 90-year history.

But the modest outfit from the Madrid suburbs saw their dream run come to an end when Vazquez finished off a counter-attack in lethal fashion a minute from time to complete a 2-0 win on the night.

Sevilla will meet either holders Barcelona, who beat the Andalusian side 2-0 after extra time to lift the trophy in 2016, or Valencia in the final on April 21.

Ernesto Valverde's Barca head to the Mestalla on Thursday for the second leg after a Luis Suarez goal handed the Catalans a 1-0 advantage in the tie.

Schalke, Frankfurt into

German Cup last four

A first half goal from Guido Burgstaller fired Schalke to a 1-0 victory over Wolfsburg and a place in the semi-finals of the German Cup on Wednesday. Last year's finalists Eintracht Frankfurt also progressed to the last four, as a comedy of defensive errors saw them beat local rivals Mainz 3-0.

Frankfurt and Schalke join Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen in the last four, with the semifinal draw set for Sunday. Schalke's winner came early in what proved to be a dull game. Just nine minutes in, Austrian Burgstaller broke free on the counter-attack, picking up the ball on the halfway line before keeping his cool in the penalty area to slide the ball into the bottom corner.

Wolfsburg rallied, with Yunus Malli hitting the bar and Ralf Faehrmann forced into two saves before half-time. The game fizzled out after the break, however, and neither side created another significant chance until late in the second half. Only in the 85th minute did Wolfsburg come close to equalizing, Leon Goretzka clearing Daniel Didavi's header off the goalline.

In Frankfurt, a mistake from Mainz goalkeeper Rene Adler gave the home side the lead on 17 minutes. Making his first appearance since he picked up an injury in October, Adler misjudged a backpass from Stefan Bell, providing Ante Rebic with an open goal.

Eight minutes into the second half, Frankfurt doubled the lead, as Hack turned Sebastien Haller's cross into his own net. Hack then gave the ball away in his own half just after the hour mark, allowing Omar Mascarell to loft the ball elegantly over Adler for Frankfurt's third.

Mainz's misery was compounded in the 82nd minute, when Danny Latza was sent off for a reckless challenge on Marco Fabian. "We didn't show any balls, and we played like amateurs today," said Mainz midfielder Nigel De Jong. "I am disappointed and frustrated. This is a low point for us." — AFP