Spanish 2nd-tier Sporting Gijon top Eibar in Copa del Rey

Indo Asian News Service

Gijon (Spain), Nov 1 (IANS) Second-tier Spanish side Sporting Gijon shocked top-flight Eibar with a 2-0 victory in the first leg of the round of 32 in the Copa del Rey here on Thursday.

As expected, Sporting Gijon coach Ruben Baraja rested many of his regular starters except for Uros Djurdjevic, giving the Serbian striker an opportunity to break his goal drought, reports Efe.

Eibar, which also rested key players, approached the away game knowing the tie would be decided in the second leg scheduled for Dec. 5 at Eibar's home stadium; but just four minutes into the game visiting Eibar had its first setback when the Gunsmiths' Spanish right-back Jordi Calavera suffered an injury.

Eibar initially controlled the ball and set the pace.

The first shot at the target came in the 27th minute when Sporting midfielder Hernan Santana fired a weak shot easily saved by Asier Riesgo.

Then, right at the 30th-minute mark, Eibar took another blow as the team's central defender Ivan Ramis also came off injured, forcing coach Jose Luis Mendilibar to make a second change to his starting lineup.

With Ramis and Calavera sidelined, forward Djurdjevic began to capitalize on the weakened Sporting defense

The Serb netted in the 54th minute when he punished Marc Cucurella for a sloppy clearance.

The rest of the match was all Sporting, as the second leaguers outclassed La Liga's Eibar, gaining a final goal with four minutes left to play when Swiss midfielder Neftali Manzambi scored on a counter-attack to make the final tally 2-0.

--IANS

gau/vm