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Villarreal battle back to draw with Espanyol in Copa del Rey

IANS  |  Villarreal (Spain) 

scored twice in the final five minutes of regulation to salvage a 2-2 draw with Espanyol in the first leg of their Copa del Rey knockout stage tie.

Espanyol, eighth in LaLiga, on Wednesday set the tone in the opening minutes at La Ceramica against relegation-bound Villarreal, reports news.

Sergi Darder exploited a giveaway to put the visitors ahead 1-0 in the 15th minute.

This spurred the hosts into was tested on the ensuing sequence by a powerful header from

Darder came close to doubling the lead with a shot that grazed the crossbar a few minutes before saw Alfonso Pedraza's goal disallowed because the ball touched teammate Karl Toko Ekambi, who was offside.

Espanyol created two more opportunities late in the first half as forced a save from Villarreal keeper and Darder fired just outside the post.

The home side were better on the attack after the break and the minutes on either side of the hour mark saw a succession of chances at both ends.

Fernandez thwarted in the 62nd minute, leading to an opportunity at the opposite end for Villarreal's

But with 20 minutes left, the hosts' best chance came to nothing when Bacca lost the a man-to-man tackle to Roberto, just before Espanyol boosted their lead to 2-0 with a goal by

Yet Villarreal continued to press and narrowed the deficit with Ekambi's goal in the 85th minute, followed four minutes later by Bacca's equaliser.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 10 2019. 13:34 IST