UD Ibiza beat Albacete Balompié in front of a huge crowd at the Can Misses stadium on Saturday 11th January. 

They now progress to the third round proper, the 32 teams remaining in the new format Copa del Rey now joined by the mighty Barcelona and Real Madrid.

  • Photos J.A. Riera, Diario de Ibiza
  • Report Nick Gibbs

The Saturday victory was far from a formality. The visitors from Manchego went ahead in the match with a goal from Álvaro Jiménez, leaving the pitch at half time with a one goal lead. 

However in the second half Ibiza’s Miguel Nuñez, a former Albacete player, scored the goal that squared the scores and took the match into extra time. 

In previous years all Copa del Rey matches have been played over two legs, home and away, however a complete revamp of the tournament’s format for the 2019 to 2020 season includes that all matches up until the semi finals will be decided in one game. This took the match into extra time and with neither side able to break the deadlock after 120 minutes of play the game went into a penalty shoot-out decider. 

Ibiza had brought on striker Diego Mendoza with an eye to the penalty shootout with just a minute left to play. It proved a great call as his goal from the spot won the match for Ibiza 5-3 on penalties. 

The draw for the next round will be Tuesday 14th January with matches played on January 22nd. In addition to the single match format, another change for 2020 is in ‘opponent seeding’ whereby the teams from lower divisions will be drawn to face teams from La Liga with games being played at the home of the lower league team. The Spanish Football federation say the idea is to give smaller teams the chance of ‘rubbing shoulders’ with the big teams, however the financial windfall in gate receipts and television fees from the additional attention will also be very welcome in the boardroom of any lower league club. 

Given the size of yesterday’s attendance at Can Misses, the visit of any La Liga team may be likely to result in a sell-out crowd. Should the impossible dream happen and UD Ibiza progress further, both the following rounds of the final 16 and final 8 will be played with the same lower league opponent seeding. The semi finals return to a ‘luck of the draw’ format and are played over two legs, with the single match final played on April 18th. 

Ibiza Football, The Rise & Rise of UD Ibiza