Spanish cup - second round
The three last matches in the second round were played on Thursday night, and once again there was a surprise or two. Málaga became the thirteenth first division side to be knocked out of the cup in the first two rounds after losing to giantkillers Ciudad de Murcia in the penalty shoot out. The second division B were only created three years ago, and they have risen two levels from the "Regional preferente" leagues in that time. In the first round they eliminated Sevilla, and they took the lead here in the 46th minute through Bomba. Roteta equalised for the Andalucians later in the second half to send the game into extra time, but it was the defender himself who missed the last penalty to put the East coast side through by 4-2 on spot kicks.
The match between neighbours Levante and Villarreal also went to a penalty shoot out, but this time the first division side were the ones to qualify. Only just though, with Aurelio missing Levante's fifth penalty which would have taken them through. López Vallejo saved the next kick, and Amor netted for the visitors straight afterwards to see them through 5-6 on penalties. The first 90 minutes had ended without goals, and although Palermo put Villarreal in front in injury time, Ricardo Lima made it 1-1 from the penalty spot three minutes from the end. Unfortunately for Villarreal, Palermo broke his leg in the goal celebration, and both teams ended extra time with ten men after Roa and Quique Alvares were sent off.
The third game was the all Catalan affair between two teams who had passed each other on the way up and down at the end of last season. This year Lleida were the second division B side, and they were therefore hosts to Gimnastic Tarragona, now of the second division A. And logic prevailed of sorts, with Nàstic running out 1-2 winners after a close fought battle. Castillejo headed the visitors into the lead just before half time, and although Oscar Martínez levelled the scores, Castillejo beat keeper Busquets again near the end to take his side in to the last sixteen.
The draw for the next round takes place next Tuesday lunchtime, with games to be played, this time over two legs, on or around 12th and 19th December. (29.11.01)
Another hard round of matches for first division clubs, with Alavés and Celta out after losing to lower division opposition, and others struggling to get through after falling behind. The match of the day though was at Lanzarote, with Real Madrid returning to an artificial pitch in the Canary Islands to fight their way through to the last sixteen against the local second division B side. The small ground was packed to bursting with 6,000 fans turning up to watch their idols, and that was just for the training session the day before! The Real Madrid substitutes' bench was worth at least ten times more than their opponents side put together, with Zidane, Figo, Morientes, Helguera and Casillas all kept in reserve just in case, not to mention Raúl, Hierro and Roberto Carlos who were left at home. Madrid took the lead through Celades in the first half, but Lanzarote were not to be beaten easily having thrashed Tenerife 5-1 in the first round, and they equalised through Vladimir shortly before the break. However goals from Guti and Pavón (his first for the first team) put the league champions through to the next round.
League leaders Deportivo de La Coruña join them in next Tuesday's draw after defeating Cultural Leonesa 1-2, but only thanks to two late goals from substitute Diego Tristán after they fell behind to a Raúl Ibáñez goal. Although not fully fit, Tristán was forced to come on after fifteen minutes when Pandiani limped off with an injury, and with Makaay also on the doctor's table, Irureta must be thankful that he decided to draft young striker Changui in to the squad in place of the injured Manuel Pablo.
Their fate though was better than the league's second placed side Alavés, who lost 2-0 to Sporting Gijon despite putting out a strong side. Mané was very aware of the Vitoria side's bad cup record after losing to Torrelavega in last year's competition, but even so they were beaten thanks to two goals in the second half from Soto, who had given them a warning before the break with a shot against the post.
Celta de Vigo were also knocked out after losing 1-0 to second division A side Salamanca in extra time. Neither team had been able to break the deadlock after the thirty minutes of extra time came to an end, but with the visitors already thinking of where they were going to place their penalty kicks, Zegarra popped up to end Celta's participation in cup competitions this season.
Mallorca did make it to the penalty shoot out in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in North Africa, with reserve keeper Miki starring as the side who knocked out Betis in the last round threatened to add another first division scalp to their belts. And then Miki was good enough to save one of the five penalties to take his side through 4-5 in an agonising shoot out.
In fact only one first division side went through without too much trouble, and they are currently languishing at the bottom of the first division. That was Rayo Vallecano, who defeated Albacete 1-3 with a hat-trick from Roberto Peragón. The attacking midfielder scored twice before the break, and although Dani Ruiz pulled one back on the stroke of half time, Peragón struck again to end their resistance. Twenty minutes from time. Rayo played most of the second half with ten men after Urbano got himself sent off.
Athletic Bilbao thought they were doing well against Toledo when they lead with a minute to go, Tiko having restored the lead from a well struck free kick after Pedro Alberto had equalised Ezquerro's early strike. However Borja made it all square again in the last minute to take the game into extra time, and it took a goal by Urzaiz near the end to finally take the Basque side through by 2-3.
Valladolid were another first division side who struggled, falling behind to a Piaggio goal in the first half against Racing Ferrol. It took second half goals from Luis García and Fernando Sales to take them through in the end 1-2. The other three games were all second division affairs, with Córdoba defeating Jaén1-0 thanks to a Juanito goal with a quarter of an hour gone, the visitors finishing up with ten men after Milosevic was given a red card in the second half. Badajoz kept up their good recent form with a victory over Recreativo, winning 5-3 in the penalty shoot out after the match finished 0-0 after extra time. In the clash between two second division B sides, Hospitalet surprised Logroñes with a 0-3 victory. All three goals came in the first half hour, with Bermejo scoring twice and Javi García adding the third. (28.11.01)
Surprises already in the second round of the Copa del Rey, with both first division teams knocked out by second division B sides in the two games brought forward to Tuesday night. Figueres, the conquerors of Barcelona in the last round, went through to the last sixteen after beating Osasuna on penalties. A bad tempered match finished 0-0 after extra time, but Cavallero saved from Muñoz and Sabino put his kick over the bar for the Catalans to win the shoot out 4-2.
Novelda also went through after a late goal from Melgarejo gave them a 1-0 victory over Las Palmas. The second division B side should not have even been in the competition at this stage having been beaten by Valencia in the last round. However a mistake by the Valencia coaches meant that four non-EU players were on the field together for the last two minutes of that game, one more than the maximum allowed, and the first division side were thrown out of the competition by the disciplinary committee. Valencia's subsequent appeals were turned down by Spanish sport's governing body, and Novelda were reinstated. (27.11.01)