Giants spared King's Cup blushes despite lack of sparkle
A last-minute goal by Guti ensured Real Madrid's passage through to the next round of the King's Cup Wednesday night.
4 January 2008
MADRID - A last-minute goal by Guti ensured Real Madrid's passage through to the next round of the King's Cup Wednesday night, the annual competition pitting Spain's top teams against second and third division rivals.
Without Guti's goal, just seconds before the final whistle on Wednesday night, Alicante would have achieved the unprecedented: forcing the club from the capital into overtime to decide who would proceed through to the round of 16. However, Guti sealed the game 2-1 after Alicante opened the scoring, although Real Madrid showed little enthusiasm throughout compared to its far more energetic rivals. Real has not won the King's Cup since 1993, preferring to concentrate instead on the Spanish Liga and European Champions League.
Valencia also failed to shine, although it nonetheless managed to beat lowly Real Unión de Irún 3-0 on a cold, damp pitch, marking its first home win since early November. Valencia's spirits may have been further lifted yesterday by confirmation that Argentine midfielder Ever Maximiliano Banega is due to join the side for five seasons under a USD 26-million contract from Boca Juniors. Banega said yesterday that his move to Valencia represents a "great opportunity."
In other King's Cup matches, Villareal beat Las Palmas 2-1, Murcia lost to Valladolid 3-2, Recreativo tied 1-1 with Xerez, Racing beat Málaga 2-0, Atlético tied 1-1 with Granada 74, Deportivo lost 2-1 to Espanyol, Betis beat Elche 3-0 and Sevilla beat Denia 4-3.
[Copyright El Pais 2008]
Subject: Spanish news