(Reuters) – A second-string Real Madrid side edged fourth-tier CP Cacereno 1-0 in the Copa del Rey last 32 with a late goal from Rodrygo as they bid for their first triumph in the competition since 2014.
Real manager Carlo Ancelotti made nine changes to the team that won 2-0 at Real Valladolid on Friday, resting several key players including Karim Benzema and Vinícius Jr.
Real went into the break locked at 0-0 versus Cacereno, with a crowded stadium seeing little action in the opening period.
It took 69 minutes for Real to break the deadlock when Rodrygo eluded the Cacereno defence to get into the box where he elegantly placed his shot into the top-right corner.
The Santos youth product celebrated by honouring the late Pele, replicating his iconic punch in the air.
⏩ ¡Conseguimos el pase a octavos gracias a un golazo de @RodrygoGoes!📰 ¡Toda la crónica del partido! 👇#CopaDelRey— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) January 3, 2023
☝️ ☝️ pic.twitter.com/ZaINoOdrDN— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) January 3, 2023
Pele’s funeral was held Tuesday in Brazil after his death last week at age 82.
Madrid made their Cup debut in the round of 32 and coach Carlo Ancelotti rested star players including Karim Benzema for the trip to the western Extremadura side who had ousted top flight Girona in the previous round.
On Tuesday, Valencia, Villarreal and Espanyol also advanced to the last 16.
Espanyol eliminated Celta Vigo 3-1 after extra time in the only top-flight duel, after the match ended 1-1 following regular time.
Sergi Darder scored Espanyol’s second with Nico Melamed bagging the winner with two minutes to go after Celta lost Argentine goalkeeper Agustín Marchesín to a second yellow card.
First division sides Rayo Vallecano and Getafe were eliminated by second division teams Sporting Gijon (2-0) and Levante (3-2) respectively.
Valencia eased past La Nucía 3-0 in a regional derby with Justin Kluivert opening the scoring after three minutes.
Villarreal stormed back past FC Cartagena, who had taken a surprise lead, with the first division side sealing a 5-1 victory with all their goals in the second half.
On Wednesday, Barcelona play at Intercity, a third-division team from Alicante, while Atletico Madrid play second-division Real Oviedo.
(With inputs from Agenies)
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