Shinji Kagawa and Zaragoza come out on top in Copa del Rey battle with Take Kubo's Mallorca
Many eyes were fixed on the two Japanese players as Zaragoza served up a 3-1 defeat to Mallorca and book their place in the Last 16.
There was a distinct Japanese flavour to tonight's Copa del Rey Round of 32 tie between Zaragoza and Mallorca. Shinji Kagawa and Takefusa Kubo found themselves on opposite sides at La Romareda - both players featured in their respective team's starting line-ups and both completed the full 90 minutes. Kagawa even had the good grace to seek out his compatriot in the players tunnel to greet the 18-year-old. Both shook hands and wished each other well.
In the end, it was Kagawa who ended toasting victory and a place in the next round. The Zaragoza No.20 made his experience count as the Maños ran out 3-1 winners in heavy rain to end Mallorca's Cup campaign at the first hurdle.
Kagawa tees up Alex Blanco for the opener
Kagawa was involved in the build-up for the opening goal of the game, the midfielder received the ball from Enrique Clemente on the edge of the Mallorca penalty area then squared to Alex Blanco to rifle the home side ahead two minutes into the second half.
Víctor Fernández's team doubled their lead seven minutes later with a breakaway goal - it was two on two as Javi Puado and Linares broke with Mallorca centres-backs Xisco Campos and Sedlar back peddling; Puados' effort had trickled over the line before being cleared but Linares nodded in the rebound just to make sure - Zaragoza 2, Mallorca 0.
🇯🇵 サラゴサで日本人選手が対面：香川とタケが国王杯で対戦 🏆 pic.twitter.com/8MVuceLFw5— RCD Mallorca (@RCD_Mallorca) January 21, 2020
Linares adds a third
The hosts were 3-0 up on 75 minutes when Clemente's 30-yard raking pass put Alberto Soro clean through with just Fabricio to beat. After taking the ball around the keeper he teed up Miguel Linares to tuck into an empty net.
Aleix Febas pulled one back for Mallorca curling a fine strike past Álvaro Ratón with five minutes of regulation time left on the watch but the tie was already wrapped up.
After their first experience of domestic Cup competition in Spain, it will be Kagawa who advances to the Last 16 while Take Kubo must wait another year for his next chance in the tournament. Zaragoza will find out who they will face next after Friday's Last 16 draw at the Ciudad del Fútbol in Las Rozas (13:00 hours CET).
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