Girona FC are not only the surprise package in both the Spanish La Liga and Europe’s Top Five leagues, the Catalan-based club also showed their dominance in the Copa del Rey Round of 16 matchup against Rayo Vallecano at home yesterday. The leaders of the Spanish top-flight football, led by 48-year-old Míchel, overcame their visitors with ease in a 3-1 triumph at Montilivi via quick goals all in the first half, allowing themselves to progress to the next phase of the competition and keeping their multiple domestic title hopes alive at the end of the 2023/2024 Season.
Four-Goal Thriller in the First Half of This Copa del Rey Round of 16 Clash
The Copa del Rey Round of 16 encounter between Girona FC and Rayo Vallecano at the former’s home saw all four goals being scored in the first half, and the game was pretty much decided already after the opening 45 minutes. Girona FC were able to race to an almost instant three-goal lead inside the first half an hour of the game, thanks to goals from 37-year-old veteran striker and club captain from Uruguay Cristhian Stuani and Dutch defender Daley Blind.
Despite edging towards the 40-year-old mark, Stuani showed that he is aging like a fine wine in the Copa del Rey Round of 16 clash for Girona FC against Rayo Vallecano. The experienced forward, who have spent six and a half seasons at the club, had to thank Viktor Tsyhankov for the opening goal of this Copa del Rey Round of 16 game, since the latter offered a vital assist for the former to put the ball into the empty net. Moments later, a poor control by Rayo Vallecano’s Abdul Mumin saw him put down Portu inside his own penalty box, prompting the referee to give away a penalty, which was converted by Stuani with a cheeky chip.
Girona FC looked to have taken the full control of this Copa del Rey Round of 16 game with a two-goal cushion and their new summer signing earlier this season managed to put the icing on the cake four minutes before the half hour mark. 33-year-old Blind, who joined Girona FC on a two-year contract upon the conclusion of his tenure at Bayern Munich, reacted the quickest off Portu’s cross, scoring his third goal in 22 appearances in all competitions for the club, and put this Copa del Rey Round of 16 fixture beyond reach for the visiting Rayo Vallecano.
Cristhian Stuani gets his brace from the penalty spot to give Girona the 2-0 lead against Rayo Vallecano in the round of 16 of the Copa Del Rey. ⚽️⚽️🇺🇾pic.twitter.com/A2ve53ZrEs
— LaLigaExtra (@LaLigaExtra) January 17, 2024
Rayo Vallecano’s Goal Meant Nothing in the Copa del Rey Round of 16
The visitors did pull one back in this Copa del Rey Round of 16 with 26-year-old French forward Randy Nteka from close range in the 36th minute, but that was as far as they could go this match, bowing out as the losers prior to the Last 8 of the competition. Girona FC, on the other hand, are safely through to the Copa del Rey Quarterfinals, and they are joined by Sevilla FC, Athletic Club, RCD Mallorca, Celta Vigo, Real Sociedad in the next round of the tournament thus far.
The remaining two spots for the domestic cup glory will be decided in the last two Copa del Rey Round of 16 games tonight, as Unionistas de Salamanca CF are set to host Spanish giants Barcelona whereas another heavyweight match for the second El Derbi Madrileño in January 2024 will be unfolded at Civitas Metropolitan Stadium, Madrid.
As for Girona FC after reaching the Copa del Rey Quarterfinals, they will be hosting Sevilla at home on Sunday for their Matchday 21 fixture in the Spanish La Liga; The Spanish outfit are currently the best team in the La Liga at 49 points out of a possible 60, while second-placed Real trail by a single point with another game in hand.
Remember to stay tuned to OtherLeague.com for the latest happenings and actions of these matches!