Barcelona reserved their spot in the Spanish Super Cup final after overcoming the absence of injured Lionel Messi to beat Real Sociedad 3-2 in a penalty shootout following a 1-1 draw after the extension Wednesday.
Barca midfielder Riqui Puig kept his cool to cheat goalkeeper Alex Remiro and score the decisive fifth penalty, sending the Catalans to Sunday’s final in Sevilla, after teammates Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong wasted their kicking.
Sociedad’s Mikel Oyarzabal, Willian Jose and Jon Bautista had failed to score their kicks after the Basque side came close to finding a game-winning goal in a thrilling overtime period after an abnormal 90 minutes.
De Jong led Barca in the 39th minute after a good game between Martin Braithwaite and Griezmann but the Dutchman committed a handball early in the second half and Sociedad’s Oyarzabal equalized on the spot.
Real Madrid holders meet Athletic Bilbao on Thursday in the competition’s other semi-final, which takes place in southern Spain after initial plans to play in Saudi Arabia were destroyed by the coronavirus pandemic .
Messi missed Barca’s warm-up on the morning of the match with a thigh discomfort and Braithwaite took his place up front, while young center-back Oscar Mingueza arrived at the back to replace Sergino Dest, who was not quite in good shape.
Sociedad, who got off to a flying start to the La Liga season but has since faded since, have struggled to keep Barca at bay in a close fixture before the game broke into extra time, when the two teams almost found a winner.
Griezmann flew straight to Remiro, while Ousmane Dembele was also upset by the keeper, while Barca’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen produced two stunning saves to deny Joseba Zaldua and Adnan Januzaj.
Barca have won the Super Cup 13 times but lost to Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals of last year’s competition and coach Ernesto Valverde was sacked as a result, while the team was then at the top of La Liga.