Real Madrid stunned in Spanish Cup by third-division Alcoyano

We’re sorry, this service is currently unavailable. Please try again later.


This was published 2 months ago

Real Madrid stunned in Spanish Cup by third-division Alcoyano

By Tales Azzoni

Madrid: Third-division club Alcoyano came from behind to eliminate Real Madrid 2-1 in the round of 32 of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.

The small club from eastern Spain scored in the 80th minute to force extra time and again in the 115th to make it to the last 16.

Real Madrid's Federico Valverde during the shock Copa del Rey loss to Alcoyano.

Real Madrid's Federico Valverde during the shock Copa del Rey loss to Alcoyano.Credit:AP

Alcoyano had gone a man down because of a red card just minutes before Juanan Casanova scored the winner from close range after a quick counterattack.

Based in eastern Spanish city of Alcoy, the small club made it to the Copa quarter-finals in 1946. They have played four seasons in the first division, but not since 1950-51.

Madrid were seeking a first Copa title since 2014, which was the last time they reached the final. They were eliminated by Zaragoza in the round of 16 last season but hadn't been eliminated in the round of 32 since losing to Cadiz in 2015-16.

Crosstown rivals Atletico Madrid had already been eliminated by a third-division club in the second round, losing to Cornella, who will host Barcelona on Thursday.

Alcoyano celebrate a famous victory.

Alcoyano celebrate a famous victory.Credit:AP

Barcelona will be without suspended captain Lionel Messi and playing on an unfamiliar astroturf pitch, but coach Ronald Koeman has already ruled out any excuses in the event of another shock result.

"It's great when a team from the third division plays a game like this at their stadium, I have no problem with that, but I do have a problem if it's a type of pitch we don't usually play on," Koeman said on Wednesday.


"For me, playing on an artificial pitch is not football. I understand that when these sides play a big team they have the advantage of playing at home, but it should also depend on the state of the pitch, the floodlights, et cetera.

"But we need to prepare well for the game because playing on an artificial pitch is no excuse.

"There are always surprises in the Cup and this is a tough game because for them it's their biggest game of the year."

Playing without some regular starters, Madrid controlled possession from the start but couldn’t open the scoring until Eder Militao headed in a cross by Marcelo in the final minute of the first half.

Madrid continued to struggle to create scoring opportunities and the hosts eventually found the equalizer with a close-range shot by Jose Solbes after a corner.


Alcoyano threatened again before the end of regulation and in extra time, but went a man down in the 109th minute when Ramon Lopez was sent off with a second yellow card for a hard tackle on Casemiro.

The winner by Casanova came after a missed chance by Madrid off a corner.

Alcoyano goalkeeper Jose Juan Figueras, 41, had to make a couple of key saves to keep Madrid from recovering.

The game was played at the 5000-capacity El Collao Stadium, which was without fans because of the coronavirus pandemic.

AP, Reuters

Sport newsletter

Sports, results and expert commentary delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up to the Herald's weekday newsletter here and The Age's weekly newsletter here.

Most Viewed in Sport