Copa del Rey, fourth round, first leg
Fourteen more matches on Wednesday, with the six surviving regional division clubs drawing the jackpot after being seeded to face six of the sides playing in Europe this year, with the first leg at home. Écija put up temporary stands for the visit of Real Madrid, and a large part of the Andalusian town turned up to see their side draw 1-1. Cassano put Capello's team ahead midway through the second half, but Nolito got his moment of glory with a late equaliser. Barcelona had a short trip to visit neighbouring Badalona, and they too had a couple of scares before Gudjohnssen scored twice in the second half. The match ended 1-2 after Tarradellas converted an injury time penalty.
Valencia also won 1-2 against Portuense, the team from Joaquín's home town of El Puerto de Santa Maria, although their flamboyant new signing only played the last twenty minutes as a crowd pleaser. His replacement Angulo was the man who did the damage with a goal in each half, but only after Ocaña had given the locals the lead in the third minute. Osasuna meanwhile had a tricky visit to the local town of Tafalla, where they failed to score for the sixth game in a row, drawing 0-0 with the resident third division side Peña Sport.
Rayo Vallecano have been languishing down in the second division B for a couple of seasons now, but they fancied their chances against reigning champions Espanyol. And they could have won as well had it not been for a controversial injury time penalty which Luis García converted to make it 1-1. Diego Torres had put the Madrid based team ahead, also from the penalty spot, shortly before half time. A few miles down the road third division side Gimnastica Segoviana were cashing in with a tie against Sevilla, although they have little chance of advancing any further after a Kepa first half strike gave the visitors a 0-1 win.
The seedings paired up all the lower division sides with first division opposition, and with ties played over two legs, very few are actually expected to make it to the last sixteen. Málaga though will almost certainly be there after thrashing struggling Real Sociedad 4-1. Díaz de Cerio actually gave the Basque side the lead, but in the five minutes leading up to the break Salva equalised and López Rekarte and Novo were both sent off for second bookable offences, leaving them with nine men. Ernesto, Valcarce and Perico wrapped things up after the restart. And Valladolid are also in with a good chance of qualifying after beating Nàstic 1-0, Alvaro scoring with a direct free kick midway through the second half.
Positive results for the other three top flight sides who were playing second division A opposition, with last season's runners up Zaragoza drawing 1-1 at Hércules. Juanlu had given the Alicante based side an early lead, but a D'Alessandro free kick later on was enough to square the tie. Bernd Schuster was given an ovation by the Xerez fans as he returned to the club he managed a couple of seasons ago, but his new side Getafe ran out 0-2 winners with a Redondo penalty and a Pachón strike in the last fifteen minutes. And Villarreal also won 0-2 against regional neighbours Castellón, Nihat and Diego Forlán getting the goals in the first half hour of the match.
There were another three all first division ties on Wednesday, including local rivals Recreativo and Betis, who played out a dull 0-0 draw. Honours were shared as well as Athletic Bilbao and Mallorca drew 1-1, Maxi López scoring early in the second half after Gabilondo had put the Basque side in front in the twelfth minute. And Deportivo took a big step towards reaching the next round, beating Racing Santander 1-0 with a second half Estoyanoff penalty after debutant Adrián was fouled in the area. (25.10.06)
First division sides joined the Spanish cup competition at the fourth round stage, with two of the sixteen first leg matches being brought forward to Tuesday. Interest in the competition is lower than ever though after yet another change in the format, and only 5,000 turned up at Atlético Madrid (less than 10% of the usual crowd) to see their side lose 0-1 to Levante. Nino got the only goal five minutes from the end. There were even less spectators at the match between Alavés and Celta, despite the presence of the UEFA cup side. Both managers put out much changed line ups though, and the tie ended without goals. (24.10.06)