Portugal World Cup star CRISTIANO RONALDO (7) of Real Madrid is surrounded by a plethora of third division side Real Murica players — defender CARLES (16), midfielder ANTONIO CANADAS (14), defender IVAN AMAYA (12) and defender ANDER GAGO (right) — at the Estadio Nueva Condomina in southeastern Spain. (Jose Jordan/AFP/Getty Images)
COPA DEL REY
4th round, first leg
October 26, 2010
0 – Real Murica
0 – Real Madrid
Home-standing REAL MURICA, who were relegated from the Segunda Division to the Segunda Division B (the Spanish third division) at the end of last season, were both organized as well as resolute on defense and earned a 0-0 draw with Primera Division powerhouse REAL MADRID for the first leg in the fourth round of the Copa del Rey.
Venezuela international goalkeeper DANI HERNANDEZ had a huge hand in holding off the high-octane attack of Real Madrid, who had scored 16 goals in their last three La Liga matches heading into the Cup tie with Real Murica.
Hernandez, to perhaps set the tone for the rest of the mutch, pulled off a spectacular save in only the seventh minute on a shot from Real Madrid’s Portugal World Cup star CRISTIANO RONALDO that was ticketed for the bottom corner.
Ronaldo, who came into the match having scored eight goals in his last three league matches for Real Madrid, was unable to find the net against third division Real Murica and was ultimately taken off in the 69th minute.
France international striker KARIM BENZEMA (9) of Real Madrid focuses on the ball as Real Murica defender IVAN AMAYA (12), the 32-year-old native of the Spanish capital who had two seasons with Atletico Madrid about a decade back, loses his balance at the Estadio Neuva Condomina. (Jose Jordan/AFP/Getty Images)
Real Madrid’s Portuguese manager, JOSE MOURINHO, rested several regulars as promised but saw the reserves revert to the low-scoring form exhibited earlier in the season by Los Blancos; to no avail, Argentina World Cup striker GONZALO HIGUAIN, who has five goals in eight league matches this term, and Germany World Cup midfielder SAMI KHEDIRA, were sent on in the second half by Mourinho in a bid to boost the attack of Real Madrid.
It should be noted that France international striker KARIM BENZEMA, given the start up front at striker by Mourinho, failed to deliver the goods for Real Madrid against third division opponents.
Making his first appearance in the starting XI in any competition this season for Real Madrid was Spain World Cup reserve defender RAUL ALBIOL, who made 32 starts last season in La Liga for Los Blancos but has lost his place in the line-up this year to Portugal World Cup defender RICARDO CARVALHO, the off-season signing from defending English Premier League champions FC Chelsea.
Meanwhile, Abiol’s older brother, MIGUEL ALBIOL, took his regular place in midfield for Real Murica.
Portugal World Cup star CRISTIANO RONALDO (7) of Real Madrid is replaced by Argentina World Cup midfielder ANGEL DI MARIA, the off-season purchase who cost 25.0 million Euros from Portuguese side SL Benfica Lisbon, in the x minute against Real Murica at the Estadio Nueva Condomina. (Daniel Ochoa de Olza/AP)
REAL MURICA : Hernandez ; Oscar Sanchez, Amaya, Carles, Gago ; Luciano, Canadas (Mario Marinho 66′), Luciano, Richi, M. Albiol ; Aquino (Pedro 58′), Kike (Rosquete 78′)
REAL MADRID : Casillas ; Sergio Ramos, R. Albiol, Pepe, Arbeloa ; Sergio Canales, M. Diarra, Ronaldo (Di Maria 69′), Granero (Khedira 62′), Leon ; Benzema (Higuain 62′)
Real Murica’s 29-year-old midfielder MIGUEL ALBIOL TORTAJADA (18) has a moment with his brother, 25-year-old Spain World Cup reserve defender RAUL ALBIOL TORTAJADA of Real Madrid, after the Copa del Rey match at the Estadio Neuva Condomina in southeastern Spain. (Heino Kalis/Reuters)