Lisbon, Portugal – Emiliano Insua and Diego Capel scored in a five-minute stretch late in the second half as Sporting Lisbon downed Athletic Bilbao, 2-1, on Thursday in the first leg of their Europa League semifinal.
Jon Aurtenetxe gave Spanish side Bilbao the lead eight minutes into the second half in Portugal, but Insua scored in the 75th and Capel followed in the 80th, as Lisbon captured the home leg of the two-game, aggregate series.
Aurtenetxe buried the opener when a ball sneaked through the penalty area, and he converted from close range at the left post.
Fernando Amorebieta hit the left post five minutes later as Bilbao continued to pressure, but Lisbon answered with two late goals to leave an all-Spanish Europa League final in doubt.
Insua tied the match when Bilbao failed to clear and he ran onto a ball in the area and flicked a header into the bottom-right corner. Capel added the match- winner when curled a low shot through traffic and just inside the right post.
Bilbao hosts the second leg April 26, with the winner advancing to face either Valencia or Atletico Madrid in the final May 9 in Romania.
Atletico Madrid defeated Valencia in the first leg of their all-Spanish series on Thursday, 4-2, behind a brace from Falcao. He scored in the 17th and capped the scoring in the 77th in Madrid.
Miranda and Adrian also scored for Atletico, but Valencia escaped Madrid with a stoppage time goal from Ricardo Costa - Jonas also scored for the visitors - to return home April 26 down only two goals and with two important away goals.