FOOTBALL – The Round of 32 of the Copa del Rey 2022/23 kicked off on January 3. Having received a “by”, due to being participants of the Supercopa de España, Barcelona, Real Betis, Real Madrid and Valencia only joined the tournament in this round.
Fresh off their draw against Barcelona in La Liga, Espanyol won their match 3-1 after extra time against Celta Vigo. Valencia won their tie against La Nucia 0-3. FC Cartagena lost at home 1-5 to Villarreal.
Real Madrid had a close shave when they won by just 1 goal against 2nd division Cacereño. Furthermore, the goal didn´t come for Madrid until Rodrygo scored in the 69th minute.
Also through to the next round are Levante, AD Ceuta, Sporting Gijón, Real Sociedad, Sevilla, Atletico Madrid, Mallorca, Alaves, Real Betis, Osasuna, and Athletic Club.
Intercity v Barcelona
Barcelona played on Wednesday, away to Intercity. Barcelona´s last game was in La Liga against Espanyol when the yellow cards came one after another. However, this game, instead of cards, it was goals.
Barcelona scored the first after just 4 minutes. Araújo received the pass from Torre and had a clear run through the middle of the box before heading the ball into the net.
Both sides had some chances but failed to score. Therefore, the first half ended 0-1.
Barcelona continued to dominate the game, but Campos made some good saves for Intercity. Then a corner was given to Intercity. Soriano connected and sent the ball into the danger zone. Soldevila was there waiting, and was unmarked. He sent his volley past Pena into the net. Intercity had equalised after 59 minutes.
Then followed a series of substitutions which meant Dembele switching to play on the left. Minutes later, he scored Barça´s second goal as he calmly chipped the ball over Campos and into the net. It was 1-2.
Under 10 minutes later, Soldevila did it again. Romero sent an excellent cross into the 6-yard box, and Soldevila was right there waiting. He sent it home with a header. Number 2 for Soldevila and Intercity. It was once again all square.
Ansu Fati was brought on for Barcelona. Then in the 77th minute, it was Barcelona´s turn to score once again. Jordi Alba sent a low ball into the box, and Raphinha just tipped it into the goal. Barcelona were in the lead again with 2-3.
Soldevilla almost scored again in the 84th minute, but it was saved by Pena. However, Soldevila was on a roll, and got his hattrick 2 minutes later. Intercity were back in the game. With only 4 minutes of normal time remaining, it was 3-3.
Six minutes of stoppage time were added, but neither side managed to create a winning goal.
Despite Barcelona having over three-quarters possession of the ball, and an incredible 39 shots at goal (10 of them on target), at 3-3, the game went to extra time.
The winning goal
Both sides gave it their all. Then, 2 minutes before the end of the first half of extra time, Ansu Fati lifted a shot over the keeper, and into the net. 3-4 for Barcelona. And that is how it ended after the second half of extra time.
Barcelona went through to the Round of 16, and Intercity went out. However, the players, especially Soldevilla, should feel very proud of their performance.
Copa del Rey 2022/23 Round of 16
Twelve teams from La Liga remain in the Copa del Rey, and along with Alaves, Sporting, Levante, and 3rd division AD Ceuta, they make up the final 16. The draw will take place live at 1.00 pm tomorrow from the Spanish Football Federation Headquarters in Madrid. You can subscribe to the Federation´s YouTube channel to watch the draw.
As with the round of 32, the round of 16, will be single-elimination matches. If there is no winner after 90 minutes, the games will move on to extra time and penalties if necessary.
The games are due to be played on Tuesday 17, Wednesday 18, and Thursday 19 of January.