Third-tier CP Cacereno came within centimeters of upsetting Malaga in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday, winning 1-0 at La Rosaleda, but going out on away goals after drawing 4-4 on aggregate.
Real Madrid, Real Betis Balompie and CA Osasuna all reached the round-of-16, while second division Cordoba and UD Las Palmas claimed the scalps of top-flight sides to progress.
The split among Real fans over their support for coach Jose Mourinho, in the spotlight after his side slipped 11 points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona, was evident at the Santiago Bernabeu as some sections whistled, while others chanted his name.
Qatar-owned Malaga, who are fourth in La Liga and have cruised into the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League, were clinging on desperately at the end of their round-of-32, second leg tie, but had luck on their side.
Cacereno winger Chapi pounced on a loose ball after a free-kick to put the visitors ahead in the 37th minute and they sensed an upset toward the end of the second half.
Malaga defender Martin Demichelis diverted a goalbound shot just wide of his own post and goalkeeper Carlos Kameni pushed another into the side-netting in the closing stages.
When the visitors did finally bundle the ball home again at a corner, the “goal” was ruled out for offside and Manuel Pellegrini’s side hung on to go through.
“Without the correct attitude, you cannot play football,” Pellegrini, who famously suffered a 4-1 humiliation to third-tier AD Alcorcon as Real Madrid coach, told a press conference. “If we had gone out, it would have been fair enough.”
Mourinho gave four B team players a start against third-tier CD Alcoyano, including an official debut for 21-year-old winger Denis Cheryshev, who made his first appearance for Fabio Capello’s Russia in a friendly this month.
However, it was the established figures of Jose Callejon with two goals and substitute Angel di Maria with one who struck late for a 3-0 victory as Real triumphed 7-1 on aggregate.
Mourinho sent out assistant Aitor Karanka to speak to the media after the game and answer questions about the whistles.
“You hear a lot of things in the dugout,” Karanka said. “People at the stadium have the right to express themselves. There will be people who are in favor and those who aren’t, but no one can doubt our professionalism.”
Cordoba upset Real Sociedad by taking advantage of some poor defending to draw 2-2 at Estadio Anoeta and advance 4-2 on aggregate.
The Andalucian club’s prize is likely to be a meeting with holders Barcelona, who were hosting Deportivo Alaves yesterday with a 3-0 first-leg advantage.
Las Palmas ousted Rayo Vallecano de Madrid 1-0 on aggregate after grabbing a goalless draw at the Campo de Futbol de Vallecas, where the home side had their goalkeeper sent off for the second time in the tie.
Real Betis Balompie, spurred on by their surprise 1-0 defeat of league champions Real Madrid at the weekend, overturned a first-leg deficit against Real Valladolid to progress 3-1 on aggregate.
Osasuna joined them with a 2-0 home win over second-tier Sporting de Gijon, giving them a 2-1 aggregate triumph.