Marc-Andre ter Stegen saved erroneous penalty attempts by Juanmi and William Carvalho to clinch Barcelona a 4-2 penalty shootout win against Betis in Thursday’s Spanish Super Cup quarterfinal in Saudi Arabia.
Barcelona has qualified for the fantasy final, where they will face Real Madrid, who overcame Valencia in a shootout on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old goalkeeper was Barcelona’s hero, making a series of spectacular stops throughout the game before denying Juanmi and Carvalho’s shootout attempts.
“It was a fantastic match, one that people come to witness,” Ter Stegen remarked afterwards. “I’m pleased with myself.” I believe I’ve been in a good place in both my business and my personal since last year. “It was a challenging game, especially after the interval, since they controlled possession and made life difficult for us. We had to battle hard to progress since they were better in midfield and had complete control of the game.”
Barcelona began strongly, but fell behind Betis after VAR judged that Pedri’s 23rd-minute goal was offside in the buildup.
Following two bullet-like efforts from Luiz Henrique and Rodri, Ousmane Dembele raced forward in a spectacular solo effort before handing the ball to Robert Lewandowski, who beat goalkeeper Claudio Bravo from close range.
In the second half, Betis fought back strongly, putting pressure on Barcelona up front, and Nabil Fekir scored in the 77th minute after Luiz Henrique set him up.
Three minutes later, Lewandowski seemed to have restored Barcelona’s advantage with a shot, but VAR ruled it out for offside in the build-up, sending the game into extra time.
After a beautiful move from just inside the area, Ansu Fati restored Barcelona’s advantage, but Betis rallied back and levelled due to another magnificent effort from Luiz Henrique, whose cross was expertly scored by substitute Loren Moron with a heel-kick from just within the six-yard box.