Bale Returns As Real Advance To Copa Last 16
Spanish Copa del Rey
Result: Real Madrid 2-2 Fuenlabrada (Real won 4-2 agg.)
Date: 28 November 2017
Venue: Santiago Bernabéu
Gareth Bale came off the bench in Real Madrid’s 2-2 draw with Fuenlabrada at the Santiago Bernabéu, inspiring them to seal their place in the Copa del Rey round of 16.
The hosts came into the match leading 2-0 on aggregate in their round of 32 tie thanks to first leg goals from Marco Asensio and Lucas Vázquez.
However, after the visitors applied plenty of early pressure on the European champions, Luis Milla stunned the Bernabéu in the 25th minute with a stunning long-range thunderbolt to open the scoring.
Real Madrid were shocked into action by that goal and grew into the game. However, they were unable to equalise on the night before half-time and came within inches of losing their aggregate lead in the 60th minute. Fortunately for Keylor Navas, Cata Díaz’s header was denied by the crossbar.
Two minutes later, Zinedine Zidane brought Gareth Bale back into action following his lengthy injury layoff. Franchu was the man to make way.
Bale wasted only seconds before making an impact as his cross was headed home by Borja Mayoral for the equaliser.
If the tie wasn’t yet decided then, it was in the 70th minute, when Mayoral scored his second goal. The rebound from Bale’s shot off Fuenlabrada keeper Pol Freixanet fell kindly for him and he rounded the keeper before finishing.
In the 89th minute, Álvaro Portilla levelled the scores again, also off the rebound — but by then, it was too little, too late.