Sporting Gijon oust Eibar from Copa del Rey
Eibar's Marc Cucurella (R) vies for the ball with Sporting Gijon's Alvaro Jimenes during the second leg of a Copa del Rey round of 32 tie at Ipurua stadium in Eibar, Spain, on Thursday, Dec. 6. EFE-EPA/Juan Herrero
Sporting Gijon's Pablo Perez celebrates after scoring a goal against Eibar during the second leg of a Copa del Rey round of 32 tie at Ipurua stadium in Eibar, Spain, on Thursday, Dec. 6. EFE-EPA/ Juan Herrero
Sporting Gijon goalkeeper Dani Martin secures the ball from Eibar's Alex Perez (L) during a Copa del Rey match on Thursday, Dec. 6, in Eibar, Spain. EFE-EPA/Juan Herrero.
Eibar, Spain, Dec 6 (efe-epa).- Sporting Gijon drew 2-2 here Thursday with Eibar to win their Copa del Rey round of 32 tie 4-2 on aggregate and advance to the knockout stage.
Trailing 2-0 after the first leg, the LaLiga club started aggressively, while second-division side Sporting stayed alert for chances on the counter in pursuit of the goal that would all but guarantee them a berth in the next round.
The visitors didn't have to wait long, as Sporting's Alvaro Jimenez scored in the 13th minute. Eibar reacted and the outcome might have been different if Kike Garcia had been able to convert a chance in the 21st minute.
Instead, Sporting captain Pedro Perez made it 2-0 on the night and 4-0 overall with a goal in the 38th minute.
Though the contest was already out of reach, Eibar coach Jose Luis Mendilibar started the second half with a double-change, sending in starters Pablo Hervias and Pere Milla in an apparent bid to avoid the indignity of losing at home.
The changes paid off quickly. Marc Cucurella pulled back a goal for Eibar in the 52rd minute, igniting a spell of inspired offensive play, yet the equalizer didn't come until three minutes from the end of regulation, courtesy of Charles.