The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.
We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.
Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.
I don’t usually cover the Copa del Rey, to put it mildly, because it’s the Copa del Rey, to put it mildly. But when Real Madrid are knocked out of a tournament by a third-division team at the Bernabéu, it’s worth a mention. Particularly as it’s never happened before. Particularly as the winning goal was a brilliant header in injury time. Say hello to Real Unión. Video ahead.
Unión, currently ranked at the top of Group 1 of Spain’s Segunda División B, had stolen a shock 3-2 home win against Madrid in the first leg two weeks ago, in a match that was overshadowed by the on-pitch collapse of Rubén de la Red. For the second leg, Madrid coach Bernd Schuster decided he’d treat the game as more than a formality, and sent out Cannavaro, Van der Vaart, Sneijder, and Raúl in his starting lineup. The going-in-heavy approach seemed to work, as Raúl’s hat trick gave Madrid a 4-2 lead—6-5 on aggregate—with five minutes left in the match. Then, Unión’s Eneko Romo did this
to knock the ball over Jerzy Dudek and secure his team’s historic victory on away goals.
Now Bernd Schuster is facing job-security questions at Real Madrid and I’m anxiously looking forward to Unión’s match in the round of 16—probably against fellow lower-league side Polideportivo Ejido, who stunned Villareal 5-0 in the first leg. 5-0! The Soccernet match center for the Madrid-Unión game doesn’t even list most of the players on the Unión side. They only knew three of their names.
You do not know what’s going to happen in football. To put it mildly.
Read More: Real Madrid
by Brian Phillips · November 12, 2008