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Bale and Brahim seal Real Madrid's passage into last 16

Pin Gareth Bale (L) scored for RM before going off in the 53rd minute. AFP
Gareth Bale (L) scored for RM before going off in the 53rd minute. AFP

Bale and Brahim seal Real Madrid's passage into last 16

Paul Singh by Paul Singh @besoccer_com - 0 4,093

A goal from Gareth Bale followed by a brace from substitute Brahim Diaz gave Real Madrid a 1-3 victory over Unionistas at the Las Pistas stadium in Salamanca. Substitute Alvaro Romero had drawn the Segunda B side level in the second half.

Real Madrid made it into the last 16 of the Copa del Rey after a fairly comfortable 1-3 win over Unionistas. Gareth Bale put Zidane's side ahead early on and then Real Madrid had the game under control. However, Unionistas drew level in the 57th minute through Alvaro Romero after a defensive error and that gave the hosts life. However, Brahim Diaz restored their lead five minutes later and he got another towards the end to kill off the tie. 

It was a quiet start to the game at Las Pistas in Salamanca and despite Real Madrid having more possession, they were no clear chances. However, 18 minutes in, the away side went in front after a hopeful cross by James was poorly headed away by Gongora and Gareth Bale saw his shot deflected into the goal. Despite seeming to pick up a knock, the Welshman played 53 minutes.

Gongora tried to make amends seconds after the goal, but his strike was well saved by Areola. Real Madrid then took control of the game and almost doubled their lead in the 35th minute when Benzema hit the sidenetting after being played in by Marcelo. Then, two minutes later, Casemiro played a lovely chip pass to James and the Colombian's lob hit the crossbar before going out of play. 

Real Madrid were leading 0-1 at the break without really being impressive, but on top. However, Unionistas came out to attack more in the second half. 

De la Nava had an effort at Areola just after the interval and the game became more open. Real Madrid nearly made it 0-2 after Bale's cross was flicked on by Vinicius, Benzema could not get on the end of it and James at the far post was denied by a brilliant save from Brais in the Unionistas goal. Despite Unionistas' efforts, the La Liga side looked to have the game under control, but then in the 57th minute, a shock was on the cards. 

Marcelo played a lateral pass in his own half to Militao who could not reach it and then Romero picked up and ran into the box before firing into the roof of the net. The 4000 capacity crowd at Las Pistas could not believe their eyes. However, their joy lasted just five minutes as Brahim Diaz put the away side back in front in fortuitous circumstances. Benzema gave the ball to Marcelo and his ball in hit Diaz while slipping and Gongora on the line only managed to clear onto the post and back onto himself before going in. 

It was cruel luck for the Segunda B side but they continued to have chances through De la Nava who was twice denied by Areola. The second of them was from a corner after the ball hit him on the knee. Had he connected better, it would have been 2-2. However, Real Madrid's class came through in the end.

They had a triple chance six minutes from time which saw Brahim Diaz hit the post, Vinicius have a header saved by Brais and then Jovic saw his shot hit the post on the rebound and roll along the line. Then, with time running out and while Real Madrid were looking to run out the clock, Brahim Diaz made it 1-3 after getting the ball on the far side, cutting inside and firing a right footed shot into the corner. Despite a scare, Real Madrid were always the better side and fully deserved to win



Paul Singh

Paul Singh

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