This week’s Copa del Rey matches have produced an incredible amount of entertainment. With four La Liga teams having already been knocked out of the tournament, there was potential for more to fall in Thursday’s early kick-offs.
Ibiza Islas Pitiusas 1-4 Real Betis
Reigning champions Real Betis survived an early setback against fourth tier side Ibiza Islas Pitiusas to progress to the fourth round of the competition. Head coach Manuel Pellegrini named a strong side, featuring the likes of Sergio Canales and the returning Joaquin. However, it was the hosts that took a shock lead courtesy of Pepe Bernal, who finished following a mistake in the Betis defence.
Los Verdiblancos couldn’t break down their opposition in the opening half, but they got their equaliser early in the second half. A cross from the right was headed home by Brazilian striker Willian Jose. Less than five minutes later, Edgar Gonzalez flicked home Rodri’s goalbound shot to make it 2-1. Jose got his second with ten minutes to go, before substitute Nabil Fekir added a fourth in injury time.
Gimnastic 1-2 Osasuna (AET)
High flying Osasuna needed extra time to progress against Primeira Federacion side Gimnastic in a feisty encounter.
Kike Garcia gave the La Liga side an early lead, which lasted until the 78th minute. Nastic equalised courtesy of subsitute Pablo Fernandez, who then capped his entertaining 38-minute cameo by being sent off six minutes after his goal.
Osasuna eventually made their man advantage count in the 112th minute, taking the lead for the second time as a result of an own goal from Nastic defender Eric Montes Arce, who turned a cutback into his own net. Los Rojillos then got a red card of their own a few minutes later, as Pablo Ibanez was sent off with a few minutes remaining. However, they held on to seal their place in the fourth round.
Thursday’s late match sees third tier side Eldense host Ernesto Valverde’s Athletic Club.