Honours even in Bilbao-Levante semi-final first leg

·1-min read

BILBAO, Spain (Reuters) - Athletic Bilbao and Levante played out an entertaining 1-1 draw in their Copa del Rey semi-final first leg on Thursday.

An unmarked Gonzalo Melero collected Jorge de Frutos's cross and fired the visitors ahead after 26 minutes, taking advantage of some poor marking from the Bilbao backline.

The goal forced a reaction from the hosts, who had been lacklustre in the opening stages but finished the half strongly.

After the break the Basque side laid siege to the Levante goal, with goalkeeper Dani Cardenas making good saves from Inaki Williams and halftime substitute Alex Berenguer.

The pressure eventually told and Inigo Martinez nodded in a deserved equaliser on 58 minutes from a Iker Muniain corner to ensure the tie was finely poised ahead of next month's second leg.

The victors will meet the winners of Barcelona versus Sevilla, with the Andalusian side holding a 2-0 advantage from the first leg.

(Reporting by Joseph Walker; Editing by Christian Radnedge)