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Villarreal, Madrid, Atletico reach cup quarters
Published in Daily News Egypt on 07 - 01 - 2011

MADRID: A second-half burst of goals saw Villarreal rally from a two-goal deficit Thursday for a 4-2 win over Valencia that put it into the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey.
Marco Ruben's 63rd-minute strike ensured Villarreal advanced after a scoreless first leg. Ruben tapped into an open goal after Cani's one-two with Giuseppe Rossi put him clear into the area to find Ruben alone in the center.
Valencia dominated the first half and Ever Banega put the visitors ahead at El Madrigal stadium after five minutes when goalkeeper Juan Carlos Sanchez spilled the Argentine's long-distance shot.
Roberto Soldado controlled Maduro Hedwiges' long ball in the 23rd to tap past Sanchez for Valencia's second away goal.
Needing to score at least three times, Villarreal started the rally right after the break as Santi Cazorla streaked into the area to convert Rossi's pass for the hosts' first in the 47th. Two minutes later, Rossi scored a penalty after Marius Stankevicius brought down Ruben.
While both clubs created chances in the regional derby, Villarreal controlled the tempo with Ruben scoring before Rossi scored his second—and 16th in all competitions for the Italy striker—during injury time with an individual effort.
“The result shows we also won with our tactics and that we knew to stick to our convictions,” Villarreal coach Juan Carlos Garrido said.
Villarreal plays defending champion Sevilla in the last eight of the domestic cup competition while Atletico Madrid will face city rival Real Madrid after a 2-1 aggregate win over Espanyol.
Atletico striker Sergio Aguero held off two defenders in the 25th minute to control Raul Garcia's pass and beat goalkeeper Cristian Alvarez with a rising shot. Luis Garcia made it 1-1 with a free kick in injury time.
Real Madrid lost to Levante 2-0 but still easily advanced to the last eight for the first time in five years, 8-2 on aggregate.
Madrid coach Jose Mourinho rested many of his regulars in a match of little suspense, with Cristiano Ronaldo out due to sickness. Brazil midfielder Kaka came on in the 57th minute for his second appearance since returning from injury.
Xisco Munoz scored from the penalty spot in the 62nd after Fernando Gago handled, while Sergio Gonzalez curled in a free kick from outside the area near the end.
“This was a game we could lose. We didn't want to lose, but we could,” Mourinho said after only his second defeat in charge of Madrid.
Earlier, second-division leader Real Betis beat Getafe 3-1 to overcome a first-leg deficit and win 4-3 on aggregate to set up a match with Barcelona.
Getafe goalkeeper Oscar Ustari was outstanding early, making seven saves in the opening 40 minutes before Jorge Molina beat the Argentine in the 56th at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.
Ruben Castro scored goals in the 72nd and 90th for Betis, which hung on for victory after Javier Casquero pulled one back for Getafe in injury time.
“They were superior from minute one,” Getafe coach Michel said. “It's unacceptable to play like that as a topflight team.”
Betis—the only lower-tier club left in the competition—may not have captain Achille Emana available for next week's game after the Cameroon midfielder was taken off with an apparent knee injury in the 52nd.
Almeria scored four first-half goals in a 4-3 win at Mallorca to advance 8-6 on aggregate.
Pablo Piatti scored 30 seconds into the match and again in the 40th minute after Juanma Ortiz had also added two for the visitors.
The result seemed in little doubt before Fernando Cavenaghi put Mallorca on the board with his 70th-minute goal. Michael Pereira scored from long-range a minute before Cavenaghi added his second in the 77th. But even after losing defender Fabian Vargas to a second yellow card in the 83rd, Almeria resisted the late pressure and will next meet Deportivo La Coruna.
Record 25-time champion Barcelona eliminated Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday, when defending champion Sevilla and Deportivo also advanced to next week's quarterfinals.

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