Football

Real Madrid sent packing from Copa del Rey by tiny Alcoyano

Real Madrid's Marco Asensio, centre charges through the Alcoyano defence during a Spanish Copa del Rey round of 32 football match between Alcoyano and Real Madrid at the El Collao stadium in Alcoy, Spain on January 20, 2021.   | Photo Credit: AP

Real Madrid suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to lowly Alcoyano on Wednesday to exit the Copa del Rey, as the third division side scored an unlikely winner late in extra time after being reduced to 10 men.

Eder Militao headed in a cross from Brazilian compatriot Marcelo to give Real the lead right at the end of the first half, but Alcoyano substitute Jose Solbes stabbed home following a corner to level for the hosts with 10 minutes remaining.

Alcoyano's Ramon Lopez picked up a second yellow card in the 110th minute for a foul on Casemiro to leave his side a man down, but instead of clinging on for penalties, the home side burst forward five minutes later and snatched a winner when midfielder Juanan turned in a cross from close range.

Zidane made nine changes to the team that were beaten 2-1 by Athletic Bilbao in last week's Spanish Super Cup semi-final but was still able to field a strong starting 11 containing five Champions League winners.

His side looked in control for most of the match but had few clear-cut opportunities.

Fede Valverde tested goalkeeper Jose Juan with a thumping long-ranger in the first half while the keeper also thwarted Brazilian forward Vinicius Jr after the interval.

Militao went down in the area late in the second half after Solbes had levelled but no penalty was awarded, while substitute Marco Asensio also had a penalty appeal waved away early in extra time as well as being denied by Jose Juan.

Marcelo then had a chance to level in added time of extra-time but blasted over the bar.

No fans were allowed into Alcoyano's El Collao stadium due to coronavirus restrictions but people could be seen watching the game from the walls surrounding the ground and the players and onlookers erupted in joy when the whistle came.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 5:01:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/real-madrid-sent-packing-from-copa-del-rey-by-tiny-alcoyano/article33622831.ece

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