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Soccer-Godin gives Cup holders Atletico the edge against Bilbao

Reuters

MADRID, Jan 23 (Reuters) - A first-half header by Diego Godin gave holders Atletico Madrid a 1-0 victory in the King's Cup quarter-final first leg at home to Athletic Bilbao on Thursday.

Godin nodded in a cross from midfielder Koke after 41 minutes in a repeat of the 2012 Europa League final, also won by Atletico.

"The team created chances to score more goals but we didn't get them so we know the tie is still open," Koke told reporters.

Bilbao will fancy their chances of overturning the deficit in the second leg especially as they have yet to lose at San Mames this season.

The winners are likely to meet Real Madrid who have a 1-0 lead from their first leg with Espanyol with a home game to come.

On the other side of the draw Barcelona and Real Sociedad hold the upper hand, leading 4-1 and 3-1 against Levante and Racing Santander respectively going into the second leg.

Bilbao put out a strong side at the Calderon with Kike Sola given a chance in attack ahead of the misfiring Aritz Aduriz.

Atletico rested a number of first-choice players and the visitors went close to an early goal when Ander Herrera fired wide in the 10th minute.

The home side carried more of a threat in attack and goalkeeper Iago Herrerin had to produce a fine save to thwart Diego Costa.

Herrerin also denied Adrian Lopez when he was clean through on goal before Godin finally put Atletico in front.

Costa and Koke then went close in the second half but Atletico had to make do with a slender one-goal advantage. (Writing by Tim Hanlon; editing by Tony Jimenez)

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