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Villarreal's quarterfinal appearances in the Copa del Rey: some tidbits

This is the fifth time we've made it to the quarterfinals; our record there so far? 0-4. Here's a quick review of our record to date.

With our victory over Real Sociedad ,  Villarreal has made it to the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey five times.

The first was in 1992-93, which was pretty surprising given we were a pretty average Segunda squad (we finished 13th in the league that year).   It wasn't exactly an epic cup run, but we did make it through four rounds--we defeated a Segunda B team, Endesa Andorra (they are from Teruel, not Andorra, btw) to start, got a bye in the next round, then beat fellow Segunda side Compostela and Segunda B side Real Jaén before running up against Valencia in the quarterfinals.

That didn't go so well, Valencia winning 2-1 in El Madrigal and 6-0 at the Mestalla.  As far as I can tell, those were the first competitive matches ever between the two teams; we had to wait until the 1998-99 season to meet in the league.

2001-02 was an unusual competition (what a surprise!).   The preliminary round, round of 16 (octafinals), quarterfinals and semifinals were played over two legs, but the rounds of 64 and 32 were played over only one leg and went to penalties rather than a replay.

Villarreal entered in the round of 64, which was played over only one leg, and defeated Getafe 2-1 away, following that up with another road win in the round of 32 (again, only one leg) versus Levante on penalties.    The round of 16 was played over two legs, and Villarreal defeated Sporting Gijon 7-3 on aggregate.  At that point we ran up against Athletic Club, who defeated us 3-0 over two legs.

Incidentally, that is the only time we have played Getafe in the Copa, and also the last time we have vanquished three clubs in this competition.

The Pellegrini years:

Although Pelle brought great success in European knockout competitions to Villarreal, he didn't have much success in the Copa.  Our 2004-05 squad, the one that made it to the semifinals of the Champions League?  They were knocked out of the cup by Girona, who were near the bottom of the Segunda B, in our first match.  2005-06 we entered at the round of 16 and lost to Valencia; 2006-07 we entered at the round of 32, beat Castellón, but lost to Valladolid in the round of 16.

The 2007-08 competition was Pellegrini's most successful "Copa run", and the third time Villarreal made it to the quarterfinals.  After victories over Las Palmas and Recreativo, we went out to Barcelona, 1-0 on aggregate. (Barca went out to our nemesis and eventual winners that year, Valencia, in the semis).

The 2008-09 competition brought Villarreal's most embarrassing loss, a 6-1 aggregate defeat to Poli Ejido (we lost 5-0 away).   I guess that should have prepared Madrid fans for the loss to Alcorcon the following year!

More recent history:

2009-10 made a hero of Roberto Trashorras, then with Celta, who converted an incredibly questionable penalty in injury time to send Villarreal out of the round of 16.   Villarreal didn't bid goodbye to coach Ernesto Valverde after that performance--it took a couple of more weeks--but it certainly factored in to his dismissal.

2010-11 was the last time we made it this far, and it did provide a moment to savor.  Like this year, we entered in the round of 32, and after dispatching of Poli Ejido, we played Valencia and eliminated them 4-2 on aggregate.  Los Che had taken a 2-0 lead with goals from Banega and Soldado, but two goals from Rossi and one each from Marco Ruben and Santi Cazorla gave Villarreal the win.

Our quarterfinal opponent was Sevilla, and despite being 3-1 up at home, we couldn't hold on; that match finished 3-3 and in the return league the Andalusians won easily, 3-0.    That match was noteworthy for being one of the last appearances in yellow of Jozy Altidore, and virtually the only appearance of Roma loanee Cicinho (remember him?), which probably show you how seriously we took our chances of advancing!

Our opponents in the quarters, Getafe, have played in two finals (2006-07 and 2007-08) and made it to the semis in 2009-10.  This is their first trip to the quarterfinals since then.