AP Photo/Jose Breton
Real Madrid, the winners of 19 Copa del Rey cups, were beaten by third division Alcoyano on Wednesday night in what will go down as one of the great upsets in the competition.
Not only are the two sides divided by two divisions, but Alcoyano achieved their victory with just ten men left on the pitch after Ramón López was sent off with a second yellow card.
The loss puts more pressure on Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, who saw his team lose to Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Super Cup last Thursday, and draw with relegation strugglers Osasuna in their last league game earlier this month.
“When you play against a third-division club you have to win, but we couldn’t do it,” Zidane said. “It happens. I’ll take the responsibility. We are going to keep working hard.”
It was a fairytale night for Alcoyano, who fielded 41-year-old goalkeeper José Juan Figueras, who made 10 saves over the course of the night.
Alcoyano, a team from the small east coast city of Alcoy, made it to the quarterfinals of this competition in 1946, when they were beaten by none other than Real Madrid.
They have also played four seasons in the top flight, but not since 1950-51. Currently, Alcoyano is battling it out in the lower leagues, namely Group 3 Group B of the Segunda Division B.
Madrid took the lead in the 45th minute through Eder Militão, but Jose Solbes’ surprise equaliser late on took the sides to extra time.
Despite losing López in the 109th minute, Alcoyano scored again in the 115th minute, with Juanan Casanova the match-winner.
“We still believed we could win the match even after the red card,” Alcoyano coach Vicente Parras said. “This feat will still be remembered in 15 or 20 years.”