Sports, Football

Hazard sends 10-man Real through

By Reuters
Published : 21 Jan 2022 08:18 PM

Ten-man Real Madrid overcame a hostile atmosphere and fought back from a goal down in extra-time to beat Elche 2-1 on Thursday and reach the Copa del Rey quarter-finals.

Following a scoreless 90 minutes, Elche took the lead with a free kick earned with Real down to 10 men after Marcelo was sent off for a foul on Tete Morente.

Experienced defender Gonzalo Verdu struck the free kick into the wall but his second effort deflected off Dani Ceballos and wrong-footed goalkeeper Andriy Lunin before ending up in the back of the net.

Real grabbed the equaliser when Isco deflected a Ceballos shot inside the box and substitute Eden Hazard scored the winner on a counter-attack after receiving a through ball from David Alaba, rounding the goalkeeper and finishing into an empty net.

The match ended in controversy as Elche found the net in the last minute of extra-time, but the referee disallowed the effort for a foul in the build-up.After the long trip home from Saudi Arabia where Real won the Spanish Super Cup final against Athletic Bilbao 2-0 on Sunday, manager Carlo Ancelotti rested several first-team regulars.

"It's a big accomplishment to come-from-behing down to 10 men," Real defender Nacho Fernandez told reporters.

"It was a long game but they have defended really well. We are happy. We fought until the end, even with adversity. I think we deserve to advance."

Real Madrid joined Real Sociedad, Valencia, Real Betis, Rayo Vallecano, Mallorca and Cadiz in the quarter-finals. Athletic Bilbao host Barcelona in the last round-of-16 game later on Thursday.