Wow what a comeback!! Espanyol scored three goals in four minutes to snatch a dramatic 3-2 comeback win at home to third-tier Mirandes in a King’s Cup quarter-final first leg on Tuesday.
Mirandes have been the Cinderella team of this years tournament, having already knocked out La Liga sides Villarreal and Racing Santander in the early rounds.
And it looked like Mirandes was going to add another famous scalp as they shocked the crowd at a chilly Cornella stadium in Barcelona by opening a 2-0 lead thanks to Alain Arroyo and captain Pablo Infante.
Espanyol, who have won the trophy four times but not since 2006, looked well beaten ahead of next week’s second leg until Vladimir Weiss stole in to make it 2-1 five minutes from time.
Rui Fonte nodded the equaliser two minutes later and Joan Verdu punished a defensive lapse to poke in the winner in the 89th to leave the Mirandes players cursing and shaking their heads in disbelief and the home fans in raptures.
Mirandes coach Carlos Pouso refused to criticise the referee despite having what appeared to be a clear penalty turned down in the second half.
“Complaining about the referee is a very poor argument,” he told a news conference. “If he didn’t give a penalty it wasn’t one.”
The winners of the tie will play Athletic Bilbao or Real Mallorca in the semi-finals. The top-flight rivals meet at Bilbao’s San Mames stadium on Wednesday.
Holders Real Madrid host arch rivals Barcelona, the team they beat 1-0 in last year’s final, also on Wednesday and Levante visit city neighbours Valencia on Thursday.