Madrid, Jan 25 (IANS) Third-tier side Mirandes produced one of the biggest surprises in the history of Spain’s Copa del Rey football when they defeated Espanyol to earn a place in the semi-finals of the competition.
Cesar Caneda was the hero for the home side after he scored a 92nd minute winning goal Tuesday to take his side, which plays in the Segunda B in Spain, into the last four, where they will play either Athletic Club Bilbao or Mallorca, Xinhua reported.
Mirandes went into the game needing to score one goal after 2-3 defeat away to Espanyol, who are currently fifth in Spain’s Primera Liga, last week. The minnows were leading 2-0 only to concede three goals in the last five minutes in Espanyol’s Cornella El Prat Stadium.
The home side were cheered on by a packed house in their Estadio de la Anduva, but Espanyol held firm in the first half and looked to have sealed their place in the semi-final when Rui Fonte put them ahead two minutes after the break.
The goal from the Portuguese striker left Mirandes needing to score twice to qualify, but the home side pulled level after 57 minutes when Pablo Infarte, who works in a bank during the day, fired past Kiko Casilla.
The La Liga side were unable to produce a single shot in the last half hour as Mirandes pegged them back in their own half.
However, Mirandes also struggled to create clear cut chances until deep into injury time when Caneda scored from a header to give his side an incredible win.
The final whistle was greeted by jubilant scenes among the Mirandes fans who invaded the pitch to celebrate what is probably the best result in the club’s history.