Villarreal dominated a defensively-minded Huesca club throughout 90 minutes in El Madrigal and in spite of a penalty off the crossbar and a visiting keeper who played awfully well, posted as comfortable a 2-0 win as one could expect. Their reward for avoiding this banana skin is to go into the draw for the Copa del Rey round of 16, with the draw coming tomorrow morning.
The Submarine gave a first-team debut to Rodrigo (Rodri) in the double pivote and drafted Pablo Iñiguez into the backline to partner with Mateo Musacchio; Adrian Marin played at left back, and Nahuel on the right wing, so our canteranos were much in evidence.
As expected, Huesca set themselves up to defend above all; they didn't even include Machis, their leading scorer, in their squad, and their 4-2-3-1 looked mostly like a 5-4-0 from what I could see. Villarreal had a couple of good chances go a-begging before the Submarine took the lead just before the half-hour mark. It all began with a crashing shot off the keeper's right post--I didn't catch from whom--the ball was played to Bakambu who was taken down (should have been a penalty and a red card) before he could poke the ball home; the luckless Samu Garcia's attempt to prod the ball home went off the left goalpost; a Huesca defender cleared the ball to Manu Trigueros, and his half-volley from the top of the box glanced off a defender and into the net. Crazy.
HT Villarreal 1-0 Huesca
The Yellow Submarine continued its dominance in the second half, but Huesca's keeper Óscar Whalley was a thorn in Villarreal's side, making a coupe of fine saves off Nahuel to keep the score close. Villarreal had an easy chance to put it away when Morillas handled the ball with his arm inside the box just after the hour mark, but Roberto Soldado's penalty caromed off the crossbar.
With about 15 minutes to go Huesca created their best chance of the match but, as so often happens, they failed to convert and were undone at the other end. Manu Trigueros fed Roberto Soldado with a beautiful bounce pass and the striker scored, but to be fair it shouldn't have counted--he didn't celebrate because he thought he was offside, and....he was.
FT Villarreal 2-0 Huesca
The Yellow Submarine avoids a banana skin; now they are in the round of 16 along with 13 other Primera clubs, Mirandes from the Segunda, and Cadiz from the Segunda B. Endavant!