Sat, Dec 01, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Celta rally to oust Almeria and set up Real Madrid clash

AP, BARCELONA, Spain

Enrique de Lucas scored in extra-time as RC Celta de Vigo came from behind in dramatic fashion to oust second-tier club UD Almeria 3-0 from the Copa del Rey on Thursday after Roberto Lago had netted in the dying moments to extend the match.

Celta face Real Madrid in the round-of-16.

“My players gave an enormous effort,” Celta coach Paco Herrera said. “Little by little we found our way into the game and when we started to string together short passes, the chances arrived. We are happy to have qualified for the next round and for the rivals that await us. Madrid is the present we wanted to give our fans.”

Almeria entered the match at the Balaidos with a 2-0 goal advantage and looked set to move on despite Celta’s Park Chu-young halving the margin with a header in the 55th minute, but as the final seconds of stoppage-time ticked down, Lago was left unmarked to sweep in a corner flicked on to the far post to level the aggregate score at 2-2.

De Lucas took Andres Tunez’s through pass and rounded the goalkeeper, before firing home from an angle 19 minutes into extra-time.

Real Zaragoza and RCD Mallorca also qualified for the round-of-16 on Thursday.

Ten-man Zaragoza eliminated Granada on the away goals rule after losing 2-1 to go through 2-2 on aggregate.

Following Odion Ighalo’s opener for Granada in the 27th minute, midfielder Jose Maria Martin struck an exquisite volley from a pass by Helder Postiga in the 55th to give Zaragoza their away goal that proved key to the two-legged tie.

Postiga was sent off for a second booking for diving four minutes later and Granada’s Diego Mainz scored a header in the 66th minute.

Zaragoza goalkeeper Leo Franco made back-to-back saves in stoppage-time to secure his team’s meeting with Levante UD in the next round.

“We began the second half well and had the tie in our hands, but at the end we had to make good on the goal we scored in the first leg,” Zaragoza coach Manolo Jimenez said.

Mallorca ousted RC Deportivo de La Coruna by holding on for a 0-0 home draw, going through thanks to their away goal in the 1-1 draw in their first meeting.

Joaquin Caparros’ Mallorca will meet Sevilla next.

The second leg of the series between Athletic Bilbao and third-tier club SD Eibar was postponed and will be played on Dec. 12 as Bilbao’s UEFA Europa League match with Hapoel Kiryat Shmona was played on Wednesday. The two Basque teams drew 0-0 in the first leg.

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