Espanyol, Malaga into last 8 of Spanish cup
Madrid, Jan 14 (IANS) Espanyol caused a minor shock in the last 16 of the Spanish Kings Cup when they overturned a first leg defeat to leave high-flying Valencia out of the football competition.
Following a 1-2 defeat in the first leg a week ago, Espanyol knew that a 1-0 win Tuesday night would be enough to see them through to the quarterfinals, but with Valencia fifth in the league table and in high spirits after extending the contract of coach, Nuno Espiritu Santo Monday, the visitors were still favourites to progress, reports Xinhua.
That all changed in the 12th minute when Valencia were reduced to 10 men after central defender Shkodram Mustafi was sent off for pulling Sergio Garcia back when he was clean through on goal.
Espanyol controlled the game, but it was not until 11 minutes from time that they got ahead thanks to a goal from substitute Felipe Caicedo.
The powerful Ecuadorian doubled Espanyol's lead in the 89th minute and the side from Barcelona will now face either Granada or Sevilla in the next round.
Malaga also qualified for the last eight as they took advantage of their 2-0 first leg win to qualify comfortably against a Levante side whose coach Lucas Alcaraz made it clear with his starting 11 that his side's priority is maintaining their place in the Primera Liga.
Ricardo Horta's 22nd minute goal for Malaga left their rivals needing to score four goals to qualify and virtually killed the tie off, before Recio's second for the visitors 10 minutes later turned left Levante needing five and turned the remainder of the match into a prologue for the fans who had turned up at the Ciudad de Valencia stadium.
As Malaga visibly relaxed, David Barral put some emotion into the game with two goals in three minutes to level the scores on the night and Juanfran Torres gave Levante the lead with an 85th minute goal and all that was left was for Barral to be sent off in the last minute after scoring with his hand.