Real Madrid ousted from Spanish CupNovember 12th, 2008 - 3:16 pm ICT by IANS
Madrid, Nov 12 (DPA) Spanish champions Real Madrid were astonishingly eliminated from the King’s Cup by third-division side Union Irun.Real beat Union 4-3 Tuesday but crashed out of the competition on the away goals rule, having lost 2-3 two weeks ago in the little Basque town.
A header from Eneko Romo in injury time left Real still needing another goal to go through. Gonzalo Higuain went close for the whites, but the Basque part-timers managed to hold on for a memorable result.
The final whistle saw Irun - a fishing port close to the French border - erupt in delight, the streets packed with celebrating fans.
Around 1,500 fans accompanied their team from Irun and celebrated euphorically in the famous Estadio Bernabeu.
Irun have pulled off the “greatest upset in the history of the Cup,” according to the digital version of Marca.
Irun won the King’s Cup four times between 1913 and 1927 but have been out of the first division for more than 40 years.
The elimination will increase the pressure on Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster who, as usual in the Cup, fielded many reserves.
Paul Abasolo gave Irun a shock lead after just 14 minutes. Former Spain captain Raul Gonzalez levelled for Real in the 37th minute, only for Asier Salcedo to restore Irun’s lead four minutes into the second half.
Raul again equalised straight away, and youngster Alberto Bueno made it 3-2 for the hosts with his first goal in white.
Real still needed one more goal to go through, and Raul scored it just four minutes from time. But Irun refused to lie and die - and Romo rewarded their defiance by heading in a centre from the left in injury time.
Real have not won the cup since 2003.
From 2000-05 there were several giant-killing acts in the Cup, when the ties were played over just one match, with the first division side always playing away. In 2005, however, the two-leg formula was restored, most often to the relief of the big boys.