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spainSPAINchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA
Intercity Sant Joan ISJ
O. Soldevila 58', 73', 85'
Barcelona BCN
Ronald Araújo 3',Ousmane Dembélé 65',Raphinha 76',Ansu Fati 102'

Intercity vs Barcelona summary: score, goals, highlights | Copa del Rey 2022-23

Ansu Fati’s goal sends Barcelona into the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey after Intercity came back three times to level.

Intercity vs Barcelona: Copa del Rey 2022-23

Full-time: Intercity 3-4 Barcelona (after extra time)

Intercity huffed and puffed in those last few minutes but to no avail.

What a game of soccer! An absolutely superb second half! Barcelona squeak through but huge credit has to go to Intercity, what an effort!

Did anyone see that coming after Ronald Araújo's third-minute goal? Barça should have been more than a goal up at half-time, although Intercity came inches away from levelling against the run of play at 1-0 down with the Uruguayan defender forced to clear off the line after Aaron Piñán's break through on goal. 

But the second half of this game is where the magic happened. Intercity bravely decided to go toe-to-toe with their more illustrious opponents and Solde, a Barça fan, was the beneficiary, netting on three occasions to drag his side level after Ousmane Dembélé and Raphinha looked to have put the Catalans in control. Five goals and a truly unbelievable save from Intercity goalkeeper Gaizka Camps came in the space of 27 second-half minutes. Even if you're not in the habit of going back to watch matches when you know the result, watch this second half back. 

Extra-time was a less eventful affair, unsurprisingly. Barcelona controlled the majority of it but had to be careful to keep things tight at the back, with Intercity still posing an occasional threat. Ansu Fati eventually won the tie for Xavi's side just before half-time in extra-time but it's Intercity who'll take all the plaudits for a rousing performance. I didn't think I'd be saying that at half-time. 

What a game. The magic of the cup well and truly exists!



Barcelona: Copa del Rey record holders

No team has won the Copa del Rey on more occasions that Barcelona (31), with Athletic Club (23) and Real Madrid (19) trailing well behind. It's not the trophy Xavi is most desperate to win this season but after a few difficult years, any will be welcome to get the club back up and running. 

Barça last victory in the competition came just two seasons ago and they previously won four Copa del Reys in a row between 2014 and 2018. Can they regain the cup this time around? With Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, Real Sociedad and Sevilla also through to the next round - Athletic Club and Real Betis play tomorrow - it won't be easy, and they'll certainly have to defend better than they did today. 


Ronald Araújo:

Uruguayan defender Ronald Araújo was in the thick of the action in the first half on his first start after a serious groin injury:

"I'm happy to be back. Playing in the World Cup is what I wanted the most but it wasn't to be...I wanted to play and help the team tonight. This is the magic of the cup. We know that. When we won it a couple of years ago, we went to extra time in every game (Cornellà, Granada, Sevilla...). We have a huge game on Sunday and we have to focus on that. But we'll learn from what happened. We were warned about their set-piece threat and that's where they hurt us."


Xavi: In general, I'm satisfied with the performance

Here is what Xavi had to say after the game. Apparently, he's generally satisfied, which most Barcelona fans I've seen do not seem to be...

The challenge of facing a lower-league team: "We know that in a cup game, there's more of an incentive for them." 

The performance as a whole: "We played well but we weren't good enough in either penalty area. In general, I'm satisfied with the performance. We can't come away from the game feeling happy. We're satisfied to have won and some passages of play. But we had to have more of a killer instinct. 

“We suffered too much. We created enough chances to finish off the match in 90 minutes, but this is the Copa del Rey. A few top quality teams have been knocked out already.”​​​​​​

Barcelona's defensive display: "We didn't defend crosses well at all."

Lewandowski absence against Atlético Madrid: "Lewandowski's absence on Sunday is an unexpected setback but we just have to accept it. The same way we accepted him be able to play against Espanyol. 


Barcelona post-match reaction coming up

Xavi and Ronald Araújo have both been speaking after the game, with the Barcelona head coach having some especially interesting views on his team's performance...


Solde: I couldn't believe the second and third goals

Speaking after the game to Movistar, Solde - full name Oriol Soldevilla - was left pinching himself after scoring three times. 

"I've been a Barça fan since I was born and I'm a club member. I was really happy to score the first goal. I couldn't believe it when the second and third ones went in. We come away from the game with our heads held high."


Solde the hat-trick hero

"The team were spectacular. But this guy was heroic."

What a night for Solde. A hat-trick...and his team (the one he supports at least) can still win the cup...


One minute of added time to be played. 


Vadik has picked up a knock but Intercity can't make any more changes. So he's staying out there and is hobbling about. 


Ahhhhhhhh. Intercity won't have many more chances to take this to penalties but that was one for Xemi! The ball dropped to him at the edge of the box but he dragged it wide via a touch from a defender. The corner comes to noting. 


A big chance for Baldé to finish Intercity off! Raphinha's slide-rule pass sends the defender clean through but he can't take it round Campos.


Solde has been quiet since his hat-trick goal but he picks out a beautiful pass to find the run of Herrera. The attacker doesn't have the pace to get away from the Barcelona defence though and the danger is over. 


Raphinha's cross-cum-shot almost kills the game! The Brazilian's ball into the box takes a nick off a defender and drifts just past the post. 


Kessie shoots horribly wide from the edge of the box but the highlight of that move was another delightful pass from Alba. He's really grown into this game after a quiet start. 


A piece of wizardry there from Alba to pick out Baldé with the outside of his foot. That was sensational. It came to nothing though so...


15 minutes remaining? Or could there be more...?

Let's find out. 


Vintage Ousmane Dembélé

A very Ousmane Dembélé-like performance from Ousmane Dembélé. 

A goal and lots of threat but it could have been so much more. 


Half-time in extra time: Intercity 3-4 Barcelona

I said it after the last Barcelona goal and I'll say it again. Surely Intercity can't come back into this one AGAIN?


Herrera almost in for Intercity! García makes a crucial interception. 


Intercity will be delighted to see the back of Dembélé, who's replaced by Baldé.



I was just about to say that Barcelona had lost a bit of their cutting edge but a fine move down the right ends up with Raphinha picking out Fati, whose shot deflects past Campos. 

Unlucky for Intercity!


It was offside but it was a great pickout from Busquets and a fine volley from Alba, which smashes off the bar!


A little bit of a lull in the game for the first time in about an hour. I'll sleep well tonight. 


So close for Barcelona! Dembélé and Ansu link up superbly in the box and the Frenchman drives a low ball across goal which finds no takers. 


Intercity defender Álvaro is forced off with an injury. Angong replaces him. 


Did I speak too soon?!

Almost! Immediately, Fati fires a shot in which Campos fumbles and it looks to be sneaking inside the post but it ends up hitting the woodwork and the goalkeeper is able to get his hands on it!


We've had what feels like about 10 seconds to catch our breath and we're back underway!

Nothing can be as dramatic as that second half, I'm sure of it. 


Full-time: Intercity 3-3 Barcelona

Extra-time it is!

This has genuinely been one of the craziest halfs of soccer I've ever seen. From Solde's hat-trick to Campos' UNBELIEVABLE save to deny Raphinha. 

I don't think I'm overdoing it...


The chance was there for Fati! But a heroic block means we're almost certainly going to extra-time!


Late possession and pressure from Barcelona. Can they get a dramatic winner? 


Dembélé took a hit when shooting wide there and has gone off for treatment but he'll be back. 


Four minutes of injury time to be played. 


Raphinha and then Dembélé have chances to get Barcelona back in front! The former shoots straight at Campos, while the latter bobbles one wide after the ball dropped to him in the box. 


What next????




If you're not watching this, I feel for you!

Intercity nick the ball in midfield and have a numerical advantage on the counter-attack. Herrera leads the break and plays Solde through, who calmly slots the ball past Peña.




I can't describe just how good that was from Campos! Raphinha blasts it at goal from close range and Campos somehow does enough to get it over the bar! Unbelievable!



That was it! Miguel Marí's beautiful flick opens the Barcelona defence up and Solde's shot is saved by Peña. He thought he'd scored!


Can Intercity level for a third time??? Surely not. 

Alonso comes on for Bellerín for Barça. 



Wow. This game has gone mad in the last 10 minutes or so!


And almost a fourth for the visitors! Dembélé again works his magic and sets up Ansu Fati but he fires the ball into the side netting!



And an immediate response from Barcelona!

Alba overlaps on the left and delivers an inch-perfect low cross for Raphinha, who only has to push the ball into an unguarded net!


Barcelona immediately respond by sending Ansu Fati on for Depay, 



You can't keep them down!

Cristo sends a pinpoint cross in from the left and it's Solde who's there again to head the ball down past Peña into the net!

They've done it again!


A strange atmosphere in Alicante, I have to say. Plenty of chants of "Barça, Barça" met with some boos. Although I'm not sure how many 'real' fans Intercity have at the game. It's been pretty quiet, most in attendance seem to have just fancied a night out at the soccer because Barcelona are in town.  


Goooooooooaaaaaal for Barcelona! Dembélé!

He had to produce something sooner or later!

I've been a bit critical of his play in the final third but that was an absolutely delicious finish. One-on-one with Campos, he scoops it over the goalkeeper and it has just enough on it to beat the backtracking defenders. 

A great response from Barça. 


Gavi, Eric García and Raphinha have replaced Torre, Aráujo and Ferrán for Barcelona. 


Intercity have opened up and that could play into Barcelona's hands. Dembélé gets a chance to run at Vadik and does his usual chop but again overruns the ball slightly and throws himself to the ground in the box. Nothing doing. 


Ah Memphis. The attacker gets away down the right and has Ferrán in ACRES of space in the middle but instead of trying to find him first time, he takes an extra touch and his eventual pass is cut out. 


Gooooooooooooaaaaaal for INTERCITY!

I was just away to say that they've been much more positive in the second period and they've been rewarded! 

Another set-piece goal, with Solde firing a low shot past Peña after a knockdown in the box. 



We've just had one of those moments when an attacker is happy to see the offside flag. Alba, who we've hardly seen in attack at all, crossed for Depay, who blazes well over on the volley. He was clearly offside though, I'm sure he knew that...


Another moment of promise for Intercity and again it's Aaron who's involved! He gets down the side of Bellerín and into the box but can't beat Peña from a tight angle. A shot on target for the hosts, though. 


Barça move up the gears and some precise, quick passes, the last of which was played by Torre, work the ball across to Ferrán in the box but his shot is blocked. 


Some neat dancing feet from Aaron Piñán out on the left but his cross to the far post is just too heavy. 


Torre is first in the book and it's the clearest yellow card you've ever seen in your life. A shirt pull as Intercity look to counter. 


Well, that was completely predictable. No sooner had I posted that than Barça create perhaps their clearest chance of the match. Depay's pass finds the run of Dembélé, who sees the whites of the goalkeeper's eye but shoots straight at him when he should've done better. 


Things just aren't quite clicking in the final third for Barcelona. They've got into lots of dangerous areas but have had a poor touch or overhit pass just at the wrong moment. Torre makes a great run into the box but the pass is a little heavy and it runs away from him. 


And we're back underway! What can Intercity come up with to get back into this?


An attacking change at half time for Intercity as attacker Cristián Herrera replaces defender Gálvez. 

Are they going to have a go?


Araújo back with a bang

Ronald Araújo hasn't had his injury issues to see this season but will hope the second half of the campaign goesmuch better than the first. It's started well, at least. 


Half-time: Intercity 0-1 Barcelona

After going behind in three minutes, Intercity will probably be pretty pleased with the score at half-time. 

It should probably be more than 1-0 on the balance of play although the truth is that the hosts have had the best chance of the match in open play. 

Aaron Piñón's break straight through the middle of the Barcelona defence came completely against the run of play but he came inches away from levelling a match which Intercity really have no right to be level in. 

Ronald Araújo's early goal appeared to spell trouble for the home side, who have been fortunate to hang on at 1-0. OusmaneDembélé has been a livewire for the Catalans but, as often seems to be the case, hasn't quite been able to apply the finishing touch, while Pablo Torre, Memphis Depay and Ferrán Torres have all found space in the opposition half relatively easy to come by. Ferrán will be disappointed not to have found the net right at the end of the half.

But 1-0 is a slender lead, which means Intercity can go into the second period with some hope of turning the tie around. 


That should've been 2-0. A fast Barça break ends with Dembélé sliding the ball in behind the Intercity defence for Ferrán, whose angled shot goes wide via a slight deflection. 


On another day, Araújo might have seen yellow there, just to go some way to completing the set, as he catches Solde late out near the touchline. 


Araújo's got his goal and his centre-back partner Koundé wants in on the act. He strides forward from the back and plays a neat exchange with Dembélé, only for Álvaro to sweep the ball away as he got into the penalty area. 


Ronald Araújo: an all-action display

Barcelona's Uruguayan defender Ronald Araújo has been right in the thick of the action at both ends so far. 


I wasn't expecting Araújo to be one of Barcelona's main goal threats but he's been up there. Seconds after that header, he lines one up from long range which bobbles just wide.


Araújo again! Almost a carbon copy of the opening goal as Torre's corner finds the Uruguayan at the near post. This time, Vadik does enough to put him off. 


Dembélé on a mission! He curls one just wide of the near post, then seconds later wiggles his way into the box, as he does, but sees his shot blocked. 


I would be furious with Depay if I were Sergio Busquets. The Dutchman does his thing, taking men on, great. But the ball falls perfectly for the veteran midfielder for shoot, only for Depay to snatch it away from him and lose the ball. 


Kessie is next to venture into the box and gets a shot away, which ricochets off Cristo and back off the Barça man before going out. 


After that brief flourish from Intercity, I'm going to say that normal service has resumed. Lots of Barcelona possession and the feeling they could create a chance at any given moment. 


A lucky escape there for Intercity as Dembélé slides a neat ball through to Ferrán in the box but he loses his footing at the crucial moment. 


Almost 2-0! It wasn't quite what Memphis was planning (I don't think), as he scuffs his shot but it comes off Álvaro, loops up in the air and clips the top of the bar!


Barcelona are starting to look dangerous again. First, Torre makes a darting run into the box which Busquets very nearly picks out and now Gálvez has hauled Dembélé down on the edge of the box, almost on the line. 

This is one of those free kicks that's almost too close...


The last five minutes or so have been much better from Intercity but that could easily have been 2-0. 

Depay floats a lovely cross into the back post to Dembélé, who's daydreaming and just stands there rather than attacking the ball, which allows Intercity to clear.


That run from Aaron was almost as impressive as his curly mop. Tremendous hair. 


OH MY WORD! What a passage of play! 

Barcelona are on the attack but lose the ball and one pass from Solde sets Aaron clean through on goal. He sprints away from the Barça defence and goes around Peña as cool as you like, but runs out of steam and his weak effort is cleared off the line by the backtracking Araújo!

Superb play all around!


The first sign of life from Intercity!

Cristo finds himself in space down the left are hares towards the Barcelona box. He had two men to aim at in the middle but picked out Koundé rather than a teammate. That was relatively promising!


The shots on the Intercity goal just keep on coming. 

Depay sprints infield and rolls the ball into Kessie, who swivels and shoots. He doesn't catch it as he would've wanted though and it's an easy save for Campos


I make that Iñaki Peña's first touch of the ball. And it was a backpass from Koundé which he was able to roll back to the Frenchman. 


A sore one for Busquets (apparently)!

A volleyed pass from Solde catches the Barça midfielder square on the jaw and he's down. I think he'll live.


Dembélé is next to have a go for Barcelona but fires wildly over from the edge of the box. Barça are having few problems creating danger though. 


Intercity haven't had many touches so far and they could do with a few, just to settle into the game a bit.


This is not looking good at all for Intercity...

Bellerín again gets away down the right and hoists a high cross up towards Depay, who's also all alone at the back post but can't direct the ball goalwards. 


Goooooooaaaaal for Barcelona! Ronald Araújo!

The start Intercity had nightmares about...

Torre whips a wicked corner into to the near post and Araújo gets away from his man to power home a header unopposed. 


The first chance comes for Barcelona and Pablo Torre! Bellerín's cross from the right picks him out 12 yards from goal but he can't keep his effort down and it goes out for a goal kick. 


This. Is. It. We're off!


A minute's silence in honour of Pelé

As has been the case in every Copa del Rey match in the round of 32, we're going to have a minute's silence in honour of Pelé. 


Can Intercity beat Barcelona?

A big crowd in attendance to see David face Goliath, Intercity take on Barcelona.

Can they do it? That would be HUUUUUUGE!


Kick-off imminent!

The teams are out, the pre-match formalities are over and we're almost ready to go!


Xavi: The first game in the Copa del Rey is always very difficult

Speaking to the press ahead of Intercity vs Barcelona, Xavi was keen to stress that his team are in the Copa del Rey to win it. 

“It’s always very difficult for us in the first game of the Cup, I remember eliminations against Figueres and Gramanet, and it’s a round full of surprises. We have a report on Intercity because they played against the reserve team.”

“For us LaLiga is the most important objective outside of the Champions League, but we are very excited about the Cup and it is very important, we want to compete for it.”

“I think this format is good for the spectators. It’s part of football that there are surprises. Everyone competes and works very well. We have to be ready.”



International players in Intercity's ranks

You might be surprised to learn that Intercity actually have two international players on their roster. 

Emilio Nsue, who played 142 games for Mallorca and also had a spell in England with Middlesbrough and then Birmingham City, has represented his father’s home nation of Equatorial Guinea 32 times. And centre back Ivan Kecojević, best known for his time at FC Zurich, has five caps for Montenegro.


Peña makes Barcelona debut

Kickoff is fast approaching! 15 minutes to go and here's Iñaki Peña warming up on his first domestic start for the club (he's played once in Europe). 

Can Intercity test him early on and put him under pressure (standard cliché to be used when any inexperienced goalkeeper plays)?


How are Intercity doing this season?

As I mentioned, Intercity play in Primera Federación, which is the semi-professional third tier of Spanish soccer and is split into two semi-regionalised leagues of 18 teams. 

They actually play in the same group as Barcelona Athletic, Barça's reserve team, with the teams playing out a 0-0 draw earlier in the season. Intercity have been struggling this season though, sitting in the relegation places in 16th spot, seven points behind Barcelona Athletic. 


Intercity line-up to play Barcelona

Here's the Intercity line-up to take on Barcelona:

Campos; Guillem, Vadik, Álvaro, Gálvez, Cristo; Solde, Belotti, Miguel Marí, Roige; Piñán


Where are Intercity from?

Intercity play San Juan de Alicante, which is a residential municipality on the northern outskirts of the Alicante on the eastern coast of Spain and has a population of around 20,000. 

There's a nice big beach there where you won't have any trouble finding a spot for your towel/sunshade etc. 


Who are Intercity?

What's the deal with Intercity, then?

They were founded all the way back in 2017 (!) after an investment group took GCD San Joan (founded 1929) over, changed its name, colours and identity and effectively created a brand new club.

Let's be frank, Intercity are not short of cash for the level they're playing at. They've won three promotions in five full seasons and now play in Primera Federación, which is the third-tier of the Spanish league pyramid. That's higher than Hércules, whose ground they are borrowing today, who have played plenty of seasons in the top flight but are currently languishing in the fourth tier. 

They twice tried to fast-track their progress earlier in their existence, first by proposing a merger with Novelda (and taking their place), but the move was halted by the federation as the two clubs were not geographically close enough. And they then lost out to FC Andorra when bidding to take the place of the defunct Reus Deportivo in Primera Federación in 2019.

We all love a bit of romance in soccer, don't we? 


Barcelona line-up to play Intercity

Just as well Iñaki Peña was signed up in time, wasn't it? Otherwise Barcelona would have be forced to stick Marc-Andre Ter Stegen in goal.

Peña; Bellerín, Koundé, Araújo, Alba; Kessie, Busquets, Torre; Dembélé, Memphis, Ferran.


"Lights, camera...cup?!"

I feel as if that works better enespañol rather than in English. 

Anyway, tonight's game is being played at Estadio José Rico Pérez in Alicante, which, disappointingly, is not Intercity's normal home ground. 

Whereas their normal stadium, Estadio Antonio Solano, has room for 2500 fans, the Rico Pérez has a near 30,000 capacity, hosted three matches at the 1982 World Cup and a numerous Spain matches over the years. 

A no-brainer from a financial point of view, I'm sure, but as someone who's been to a lot of (pretty empty) lower league grounds in Spain, it's a shame not to get a chance to see one packed to the rafters for once (which we did yesterday at Cacereño). 


Barcelona fax machine in full working order

Another pretty strange tale ahead of the game surrounds Barcelona goalkeeper Iñaki Peña, who normally turns out for the B team. He was called up for the cup-tie for Xavi even though he wasn't registered as a first-team player. That's not necessarily an issue as B team players are allowed to play in the Copa del Rey provided they are 23 or under. The problem? Peña turns 24 this year. 

Cue a lot of last-minute scrambling around and frantic faxing (I'm pretty sure it's only soccer clubs who fax these days, right?). 

Will Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski serve a three-match suspension?

As I said, striker Robert Lewandowski is the headline absentee from the Barcelona roster for the game. Remember how he got sent off in Barça's last game before the World Cup break away to Osasuna? Yeh, well, we're still not totally sure if he's going to serve a suspension or not. Two months obviously hasn't been long enough to decide either way. 

A potential ban wouldn't have come into play for today's game anyway although Xavi hinted in his pre-match press conference that the Pole would be rested in anticipation of him playing on Sunday against Atlético Madrid. That doesn't look likely to happen though (but it still could...).

Here's more on that bizarre saga.


Barcelona squad to face Intercity

We're still a few minutes away from starting line-ups so let's have a look at the Barcelona roster for this clash. The recent trend in many countries has been for the big clubs to rest their top players in the early rounds of cup competitions - which Real Madrid did last night - but Xavi has taken a really strong squad down the coast to face Intercity (more on them coming up). 

There's no Robert Lewandowski or Pedri but it's pretty much full-strength otherwise.  

Joaquín Copa

Who won the Copa del Rey in 2021-22?

You'll almost certainly remember that Real Betis are the current holders of the Copa del Rey. They beat Valencia in a penalty shootout in the last final in April and as a result will take part in the Spanish Super Cup later this month. You'll be hearing plenty from us about that in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned!


How does the Copa del Rey work?

We'll take a look at the two teams in a moment but first, what's the deal with the 'new' Copa del Rey?

Of course, those of you who are in the know will be well aware that the 2022-23 Copa del Rey started all the way back in October with teams from the sixth tier of Spanish soccer taking part in the preliminary rounds. 110 of the 115 qualified clubs then faced off in the first-round proper in November and we’ve now reached the round of 32, where Barcelona and the other three participants in the Spanish Super Cup (Real Madrid, Real Betis and Valencia) are lucky enough to be able to begin their cup campaign. Things are pretty straightforward from now on. Win or you're out (as if that wasn't obvious). 

The RFEF – the Spanish Football Federation – changed the format of the competition for the 2019-20 edition, which has made things far more interesting. More teams have entered from the lower divisions and can live the dream of competing against clubs they would normally never face, while the higher seeded team playing away from home in a one-off cup-tie means there’s always the hope of a cup upset.

And who doesn’t love one of those? Apart from you, Barcelona fans...

Intercity vs Barcelona: times, how to watch on TV, stream online, Copa del Rey

Before we get down to serious business, it’s occurred to me that you might be looking for a way to watch the game. Well, if you’re in the US, you’re in luck! There is a way and here it is! 

You could at least try and look a little bit excited about that, Xavi.


What time does Intercity vs Barcelona kick off?

Wednesday’s clash gets underway at 9pm local time in Spain, that’s 3pm ET and 12pm PT. Over the course of the next 90 minutes, I’ll be bringing you build-up, team news and plenty more, and, like last night, I’ll try and give you a crash course on Intercity.

You probably don’t need one on Barcelona but give me the heads up if you do. 

Intercity vs Barcelona

Hello and welcome to Intercity vs Barcelona!

Hands up if you’re up for the cup. Thanks for joining me (Roddy) for Wednesday’s Copa del Rey tie between Spanish soccer giants Intercity and plucky underdogs Barcelona…Did I get that right?

Anyway, another day and another chance for a team and players who won’t be known to all to get their name up in lights. Fourth-tier Cacereño gave it a right good go against Real Madrid yesterday but ultimately came up just short. What can third-tier Intercity do against Barcelona?