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Third-tier Irun knocks Real out of Copa del Rey
by Ian Plenderleith, November 12th, 2008 7AM
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[SPAIN] For the second time in four days, Real Madrid won at the Bernabeu by the odd goal in seven. But after Saturday's dramatic 4-3 win over Malaga in La Liga, this time the margin of victory wasn't enough as the reigning champion crashed out of the Spanish Cup to third division club Real Union de Irun on more away goals scored.

A hat trick from Raul had looked like it would be enough, especially when the storied striker put his team ahead 4-2 (8-7 on aggregate) with four minutes to go. But then in the game's final minute, Eneko Romo scored for the visitors to level the series at 8-8 and put them through thanks to the competition's away goal rule. Irun had won the game's first leg two weeks ago 3-2.

Real's German coach Bernd Schuster said he is "not worried" by the number of goals his team is conceding, "but I understand that other people might well be and have doubts about my work. That would be logical seeing what has happened." But he denied that Real deserved to be knocked out: "We have gone out because of one goal. It is not that they dominated us, that is actually what is worrying."

The defeat will put increased pressure on Schuster, who has been subject to criticism after Real lost twice to Juventus in Champions League group play. Real is currently fourth in the Spanish league, two points behind leader Barcelona, with a 7-1-2 record.

The remaining second leg games in the Copa del Rey round of 32 take place Wednesday, with Jozy Altidore's Villarreal facing the task of overturning a 5-0 deficit against another third division club Polideportivo Ejido. Sevilla is also behind to a third-tier team, SD Ponferradina, after losing the first leg 1-0.


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