Copa del Rey, round 2

The second round of the Spanish cup took place today, with 22 games being played between the lower division teams. Once again the revamped format was criticised, especially by second division A sides who were quarantined from their lower ranked colleagues, and many clubs had to fork out for long and fairly meaningless trips. The same format will be applied though to the third round which takes place early next month, and first division sides will finally appear in the fourth round, which will from then on be played over two legs.

Second division leaders Xerez go from strength to strength though, and a Yordi hat-trick took them through against promotion rivals Albacete. There was a hat-trick too for Cádiz defender Abraham Paz as they beat Sporting Gijón 3-2, but in his case two were from the penalty spot (one again awarded for a foul outside of the area!), and he also managed to put one through his own net. Victories as well for the other two sides relegated from the first division last season, Málaga beating Ciudad Murcia 2-1 despite putting out a weakened line up, and Alavés going through win a 1-2 victory at Tenerife thanks to a Blanco own goal and a Gabri strike in the first half.

Linares were the biggest winners in the matches involving the lower division sides, Pedro Díaz getting three and ex Spanish international Catanha also scoring as they won 1-5 at Badajoz (the team who were relegated for financial problems). Rayo Vallecano won through on penalties at Lugo after the match finished 1-1, keeper Javi Muñoz saving two spot kicks, and there was a shoot out too at Puertollano, where the hosts knocked out Lleida. Another ex first division side Burgos won 3-2 against Orihuela, but only after the referee left the visitors with eight men! (16.09.06)