Real Madrid reach quarterfinal of Copa del Rey
Madrid: Real Madrid booked a place in the quarterfinals of the Spanish Copa del Rey thanks to a 1-0 win away to Malaga.
The win came courtesy a Karim Benzema goal following a dreadful error from Malaga keeper. Willy Caballero gave Real Madrid a 4-2 aggregate win and set up a quarterfinal tie against FC Barcelona, who defended a 4-0 first leg lead away to Osasuna Wednesday.
The first half saw Malaga, who only needed a 1-0 win to qualify, start on top and Real Madrid were handicapped by another poor display from Kaka and an injury to Sami Khedira, who had to be replaced by compatriot Mesut Ozil.
Kaka didn`t reappear for the second half with Marcelo taking his place on the wing and Real Madrid improved with longer spells of possession that began to tire out the home side.
Gonzalo Higuain had a goal correctly ruled offside midway through the half and moments later he was replaced by Benzema.
The French striker needed just a couple of minutes to put his side ahead, although it needed a horrific error from Malaga keeper Caballero who allowed a tame shot to pass through his legs and over the goalline.
It was unfortunate for the keeper, who moments earlier had made a fine save to deny Cristiano Ronaldo, but the goal virtually booked Madrid`s place in the quarterfinals, despite Malaga`s efforts in the closing minutes.
Third tier (Segunda B) side, Mirandes caused the Cup upset of the day by knocking La Liga strugglers Racing Santander out of the tournament.
Mirandes drew 1-1 in the return leg, thanks to a Pablo Infante (who holds a full time job in a bank) penalty which cancelled out Pedro Munitis` opener for Racing. The result gave Mirandes a 3-1 aggregate triumph as Racing became the second La liga side after Villarreal to be knocked out by the minnows.
The evening kicked off with Mallorca producing a magnificent performance to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg with a spectacular 6-1 win.
Chori Castro and Tomer Hemed each scored twice for the home side, after Real Sociedad appeared to seal their qualification with an early goal from Diego Ifran that left Mallorca needing to score at least four goals to qualify.
Mallorca responded magnificently with four goals in seven minutes to turn the tie around with Alejandro Alfaro and Jose Nunes scoring the other goals for Mallorca, who will now face either Athletic Club or Albacete in the last eight.