- Associated Press - Monday, January 22, 2018

MADRID (AP) - Atletico Madrid will need to overcome the absence of Diego Costa in the decisive Copa del Rey match against Sevilla on Tuesday.

Atletico has to score at least two goals to reverse a 2-1 loss at home, and Costa will not play after hurting a hamstring on Saturday in the Spanish league.

“Regardless of Costa playing or not, the team has to win,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone said. “The team is more important than any player. We will play with the players that we have available, trying to win the game, which is what matters.”

Costa had to be replaced in the second half of the 1-1 home draw against Girona.

Tests showed he will be sidelined for at least 10 days.

The striker scored Atletico’s goal in the first leg against Sevilla.

Costa has three goals in five matches since debuting with Atletico in January.

He has already missed one game because of a red card received for celebrating too close to fans in a league match. He is also expected to miss the league game against Las Palmas, and it remains unclear if he will be available for the match against third-place Valencia, which is three points behind Atletico.

The Copa del Rey gives Atletico its best shot at a title this season. The team didn’t make it past the group stage of the Champions League and is 11 points behind Spanish league leader Barcelona at the start of the competition’s second half.

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More AP Spanish soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/LaLiga


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