Sat, Jan 24, 2015 - Page 19 News List

Garcia stars as Espanyol grab 3-1 Copa advantage


RCD Espanyol’s Felipe Caicedo, right, scores against Sevilla in their Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg in Cornella near Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday.

Photo: AFP

Forward Sergio Garcia scored one goal and set up another to lead RCD Espanyol’s exciting 3-1 win over Sevilla on Thursday to take the lead in their Copa del Rey quarter-final.

Felipe Caicedo opened the scoring in Barcelona when he quickly pivoted before firing an untouchable strike from the edge of the penalty area into the top corner in the 18th minute.

It was the striker’s fourth goal in his past three matches after he also scored twice to help knock Valencia out of the round-of-16.

Garcia converted a penalty in the 74th minute after Alejandro Arribas used his hand to intercept a pass in the area. He then passed for substitute Lucas Vazquez to score on the break with nine minutes left.

Sevilla threw everyone forward looking for a valuable away goal to improve their chances of rallying in next week’s away leg and they found one when substitute Carlos Bacca blasted in a loose ball following a melee near the goal-line.

“It seems like we are supposed to be sad for allowing their late goal, but not at all, we should put this game in a picture frame,” Espanyol coach Sergio Gonzalez said. “Our fans should be very happy and proud of their team.”

Denis Suarez almost grabbed a second goal for Sevilla in the dying moments, only to see his shot land on the top of the net for a third time in the match.

“I don’t know how to describe the match,” Sevilla manager Unai Emery said. “Our goal turned a very bad game by us into simply a bad game by us and it gives us a chance to do important things in our stadium.”

The second leg is to be played in Seville on Thursday. The winners face Athletic Bilbao or Malaga.

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