There were no surprises in the Copa del Rey Wednesday to rank alongside Real Madrid's elimination 24 hours earlier, but Villarreal failed to come even
close to clawing back the 5-0 deficit it had accumulated on the road at third division side Polideportivo Ejido two weeks ago. Jozy Altidore
played through for Villarreal as it managed only a 1-1 tie, even having to come back on the night after falling behind in the 50th minute. Guillermo Franco
scored the equalizing goal five minutes later.
In other action, a mainly first-choice Barcelona team squeezed past another third-tier team, Benidorm, 1-0 on the night, and 2-0 on
aggregate, thanks to a Lionel Messi
penalty kick six minutes from time. And Atletico Madrid made heavy work of CF Orihuela, also of the third division, being
held 0-0 at home on the night, but edging through thanks to its 1-0 road win in the first leg.
There were easier wins against lower division opposition for La Liga teams Valencia,
Deportivo La Coruna, Espanyol, Almeria, Real Valladolid and Racing Santander. In the all-division one clashes, Athletic Bilbao beat Recreativo Huelva, 3-2, on aggregate thanks to a Fernando Llorente
penalty 15 minutes from time, Mallorca topped Malaga, 2-0, on the night and, 3-1, overall, and Sporting Gijon beat Numancia, 2-0, on a brace from
(3-0 on aggregate).
Sevilla plays Thursday, trailing third-tier SD Ponferradina 1-0 from the first leg. Also on Thursday is the
other outstanding tie, Getafe-Osasuna, which finished 0-0 two weeks ago.
The two leg round of 16 will be played in January.