Copa del Rey – when 16 becomes 8

by Lorraine Williamson
Copa del Rey, the final 8

FOOTBALL – The final 8 of the Copa del Rey has now been determined. There were many exciting moments, red cards, penalties, and extra time, not to mention a few surprises along the way.

The week began with 16 teams fighting for a place in the final 8 of the Copa del Rey.

Mallorca 2 – 1 Espanyol

The first surprise came when Mallorca managed to score 2 goals, despite Espanyol having most of the possession.

The first came from Kubo with a fantastic goal in 32 minutes, with the second, a header from Prats at the 60-minute mark. However, two minutes later, Puado managed a consolation goal for Espanyol, but not after some minutes before VAR confirmed it was indeed a goal. Then, in the 7th minute of stoppage time, Pedrosa of Espanyol collided with Kang-In Lee and was shown the red card as it was his second booking of the match.

Newcomers to La Liga, Mallorca sit in 17th place just above the relegation spots having not won a game in the league since the beginning of December.

Sporting Gijon (0) 2 – Cadiz (0) 4

Sporting Gijon had many attempts on goal saved during the first 30 minutes of play before Cádiz seemed to wake up. And for the remainder of the first half, Cádiz had the upper hand. However, the first half ended goalless. The second half was largely uneventful with some chances for both sides, but none hit the back of the net. Full time ended 0-0. The game went onto 15 minutes each way of extra time. But this was much the same as the second half with no real chances for either side.

The game was now going to be decided by penalties. The first shot was taken by Fran Villalba of Sporting. The strike was saved in the bottom left corner of the net. Next up, Alex Fernandez of Cádiz kicks with his right foot and puts the ball in the net. One up for Cádiz. Pedro Díaz hits the bar with the next penalty for Sporting, and Álvaro Negredo steps up for Cádiz and gets the ball in the top right corner of the goal. Sporting is now down 2 goals. Vasyl Kravets converts his penalty with a left foot into the bottom right corner. At last, Sporting may now have a chance. But Alberto Peria sends his ball centre and high into the back of the net. Sporting fights back and closes the gap with a goal from Victor Campuzano. It is now 2-3 for Cádiz. But it is too late as Santiago Arzamendia converts his penalty and sends the ball into the top left corner of the net.

Girona 1 – 2 Rayo Vallecano

The first half was very even with not much between the two sides until Bernardo Espinosa came through with a header 26 min in for Girona. Then Rayo Vallecano´s Sergio Guardiola Navarra scored the first of two goals just before half-time. His second came just 3 minutes into the second half. Girona came close to bringing things square, but Christhian Stuani´s penalty was saved by Luca Zindane.

Gabri Martinez of Girona was given the red card 8 minutes into stoppage time of the Copa del Rey.

Atletico Baleares 0 – 1 Valencia

Marcos Andre scored for Valencia in the opening minute of the game. And despite Atletico Baleares having the upper hand throughout the game, they failed to score, and the game ended in Valencia´s favour.

Real Betis 2 – 1 Sevilla

Papu Gomez opened the scoreline for Sevilla after 35 minutes of play. But, just 4 minutes later, Nabil Fekir equalised. The first half finished one apiece. It wasn´t until 73 minutes before we saw the next goal from Sergio Canales to seal the tie with a 2-1 win for Betis.

Real Sociedad 2 – 0 Atletico Madrid

Januzaj scored for Real Sociedad in the 33rd minute. In the second half, Sorloth scored the decider in the 2-0 victory for Real Sociedad. Both players had more attempts at goal, but the 2 goals were enough to see off the poor Atletico performance.

Elche 1 – 2 Real Madrid

What an exciting match! Although there were no goals scored in the 90 minutes, there was plenty of action. But at 0-0 the game was sent to extra time. Marcelo Vieira received a red card after 102 minutes putting Real Madrid down to 10 men. Then, just one minute later, Elche scored with a goal from Verdú. Five minutes later, Isco equalised.  Hazard received the pass, dodged the goalkeeper, and then shot past a defender and into the net to seal the winner. The second red card of the match came for Milla of Elche one minute into stoppage time of extra time. The game ended with Real Madrid going into the final 8 of the Copa del Rey.

Athletic Club 3 – 2 Barcelona

The game started well for Athletic Club with a goal in the opening minutes by Iker Munian putting the ball into the far corner. Barcelona had most of the possession and responded with a goal by ex-Manchester City, Ferran Torres after 20 minutes. Munian had a near-miss with a header that went wide. Then, just before halftime, Ter Stegen saves from Dani Garcia corner. The first half finished 1-1.

The second half begins with another fantastic save from Ter Stegen. Brothers Inaki and Nico Williams are causing problems for Barcelona. It is end-to-end stuff. And then, Martinez pulled one back for Athletic Club in the dying minutes of the game. It was now 2-1. But 3 minutes into stoppage time, Pedri delivered. At 2-2 the game was going to extra time.

However, during stoppage time of the first half of extra time, a penalty is awarded to Athletic Club because of a handball by Jordi Alba. Munian stepped up and scored from the penalty. Barça was unable to respond and go out of the Cup.

The quarter-finals take place on Wednesday and Thursday

Rayo Vallecano v Mallorca

Valencia v Cádiz

Real Sociedad v Real Betis

Athletic Club v Real Madrid

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