Another Copa del Rey upset could not be avoided by Real Madrid, not even when playing against a third-division club with an extra man.
Alcoyano, the tiny Spanish club, came from behind to defeat Madrid 2-1 in Wednesday’s round of 32. In the 80th minute, the hosts scored to force additional time and again in the 115th to shock the Spanish powerhouse and make it to the last 16. That was despite Ramón López being sent off for a second booking in the 109th.
“Even after the red card, we still believed we could win the match,” Alcoyano coach Vicente Parras said. “In 15 or 20 years, this feat will still be remembered.”
This will result in extra pressure from coach Zinedine Zidane and Madrid, who have lost to Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Super Cup. It was also held to a draw against relegation-threatened Osasuna in its last Spanish league match.
“You’ve got to win when you play against a third-division club, but we couldn’t do it,” Zidane said.
“It’s happening. I’m going to take responsibility. We are going to continue to work hard.”
Since 2014, Madrid has been chasing its first Copa title, which was the last time it reached the final. It was eliminated last season in the quarterfinals by Real Sociedad. Since 2015-16, when it was disqualified for using an ineligible player, it has not managed to get through the round of 32.
In the second round of this season, Crosstown’s rival Atlético Madrid had already been eliminated by a third-division team, losing to Cornellà, which will be hosting Barcelona on Thursday.
The small club of Alcoyano, based in the eastern Spanish city of Alcoy, made it to the Copa quarterfinals in 1946, when it fell to the eventual Real Madrid champion. It has competed in the first division for four seasons, but not since 1950-51.
After a short counterattack, Juanan Casanova scored the winner for Alcoyano from close range.