Copa del Rey, first round
Tragedy in the Spanish cup, where a supporter of Deportivo La Coruña died on Tuesday night after being attacked by a group of thugs wearing Depor colours for trying to protect a young Compostela fan. All grounds held a minute's silence for the victim on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
The last two games took place on Thursday night, with Sevilla hitting the biggest score of the round, 1-7 at Cerro Reyes. Hornos returned from injury to score three and Darío Silva got two more. Albacete were beaten though 1-0 by second division B side Cultural Leonesa, only the second side from the top flight to be eliminated. (09.10.03)
Twenty four ties took place on Wednesday evening, and for the first time under the new format there were no surprise eliminations of first division clubs. All twelve kicking off today passed the test, although many suffered right to the end and Celta only got through on penalties at Pontevedra. Málaga just won at Ceuta with a Salva strike in extra time, Real Sociedad, Espanyol, Real Murcia and Zaragoza all qualified thanks to goals in the last few minutes, and Atlético's Gregorio Manzano and Valladolid's Fernando Vázquez both saved their jobs with belaboured victories.
Many sides used the opportunity to try out reserve players, and Mallorca's Correa with three goals and Betis striker Tote with two both made claims for a first team place. Racing missed their fourth penalty in a row but still won at Barakaldo, and Osasuna had little trouble seeing off Real Unión. So far only two sides from the second division B have reached the second round, Gimnastica, who beat Athletic yesterday, and Lanzarote, who won 4-2 against Poli Ejido. (08.10.03)
The Spanish cup kicked off this week, with six games brought forward to Tuesday to allow international players to take part before joining their national sides. The surprise of the day was the elimination of Athletic Bilbao at the hands of Gimnastica Torrelavega, who are currently bottom of their group in the second division B. Tiko put the Basque side ahead, but Delgado equalised and a last minute goal from Javi gave the locals a 2-1 win. All the other games ended with victories for the first division sides, except for the tie between Castellón and Valencia which was abandoned seven minutes before the end after referee Téllez Sánchez was hit by an object thrown from the crowd. The scores were level at 1-1 and Téllez had just awarded a penalty to the first division side when the incident occurred. The disciplinary committee must now decide if and when the remaining few minutes will be played out.
It was a difficult night for the top sides though, and only Real Madrid made it through without too many problems. They beat third division side San Sebastian de los Reyes 0-3, with goals from Raúl before the break and Portillo and Cambiasso after. Even so, it was nowhere near the 1-8 scoreline from the season before. Villarreal only just beat Alicante 1-2 thanks to an injury time penalty from Víctor, and both Barcelona and Deportivo won their games 0-1 with late goals, Ronaldinho coming on in the second half to score the winner for the Catalans at Gramanet and Diego Tristán getting the goal for the Galicians at Compostela. The remaining matches take place tomorrow and Thursday. (07.10.03)