Real Unión gave the shocker of the year at the Bernabéu as they eliminated reigning league champs Real Madrid from the Copa del Rey. Many people in the Spanish media thought that logic would once again rear its head into football in Spain, Real Unión decided to repeat their performance and score another three goals against the goal defended by Jerzy Dudek.
Unión showed the poise of that of a first division side breaking down the midfield scheme of one of the top attacking sides in all of Spain. It would take yet another heroic display by Raúl with his hat-trick and Bueno’s stroke of genius that had them minutes away from overcoming a brave attempt by a minnow. Raúl though that with his thrid goal of the evening he vanquished yet another opponent that stood in front of something that he so desperately searched for. The problem there was the his team as well as the people at the Santiago Bernabéu forgot that the games are played for 90 minutes. All of the battling and scratching and clawing that Madrid did in order to come back and come close to vanquishing Unión were taken away from them in injury by a name that will live in infamy in Merengue lore- Eneko Romo.
Romo met the cross by Juan in textbook fashion and nailed in the upper left corner of Jerzy Dudek; and a Segunda B side deflated the hopes of mighty Madrid of earning their first Copa title in 18 years.
What makes it worse is that Real Unión’s season was made with this performance; actually their history. Regardless of what side of the line you currently live on people need to know how big of an upset this was. I can mention the obvious. It is the biggest upset in Copa del Rey history. It was the first time a ftop flight side ever loss to Segunda B side (third division) in cup competition. Real Unión were 251:1 to win this tournament while Madrid were 5:1. Greece was a 150:1 to win back in 2004. Am I saying that they will win the Copa del Rey? No. Their odds to win to move one were as close to even as you could get. This is why there is talk of crisis at Valdobebes. Board members have given their ultimatum to Bernd Schuster. Either he wins against Valladolid or he is out of a job. What a difference a game makes in big time Spanish football.
On the other side of the coin, you have the Basque giant killers. They are now Cinderella. They are the ones that have captured the headlines and made a name for themselves. They are forever etched in history.
More importantly, and at least for two nights, there was one team on the field that was truly Real… and they wore red and black.
Real Madrid 4-3 Real Unión
MAD: Raúl (35′,51′, 86′), Bueno (68′) RUN: Abasolo (13′), Salcedo (49′), Romo (90′)
RUN: Adv. on away goals.
Valladolid – Hércules (VLL 5-1)
Espanyol – Celta (even 2-2)
Villarreal – Pol. Ejido (POL 0-5)
Mallorca – Málaga (even 1-1)
Sporting – Numancia (SPO 1-0)
Recreativo – Athletic (ATB 0-2)
Betis - Castellón (BET 2-0)
Almería – Rayo (ALM 2-1)
Racing – Murcia (MUR 1-2)
Deportivo – Elche (DEP 2-0)
Valencia – Portugalete (VAL 4-1)
Atlético – Orihuela (ATM 1-0)
Barcelona – Benidorm (BAR 1-0)
Osasuna – Getafe (even 0-0)
Sevilla – Ponferradina (PON 0-1)