Luca de la Torre capped off a commanding Copa del Rey win by Celta Vigo with his first goal in Spain, while Armando and Samuel Shashoua both started for their respective teams, but exited after upsets against lower-division opponents.
SD Gerinka 0 – 3 Celta Vigo
Luca de la Torre made the most of his extended sub appearance, scoring his first competitive goal for Celta Vigo as they dispatched fourth-level Gernika on Thursday night.
Despite only entering after 56 minutes with the team already holding a 2-0 lead, the American nevertheless put in a strong performance, with 18 completed passes in 19 attempts and one additional chance created in addition to his goal.
Celta midfielder Carlos Pérez opened the scoring just pas the half-hour, receiving the ball on the right wing in full stride from Jørgen Strand Larsen, cutting inwards at the top edge of the box, and striking his low shot just inside the lower right corner.
Joseph Aidoo made it 2-0 for the visitors in the 55th minute when he headed in a corner from Franco Cervi, after which de la Torre entered the field for the set-up man as a part of a double-switch by head coach Carlos Carvalhal.
The USMNT player rewarded his coach’s choice by largely setting up his own goal in the 68th minute. Storming forward with the ball from near the midfield stripe, he cut it out wide to Javi Galán, whose one-touch cross to the edge of the six-yard box was deflected back to the American for a heads-up, 15-yard shot to complete the 3-0 win.
Celta were drawn against Espanyol for the round of 32 in early-January, but first return to La Liga action on Friday, December 30 with a visit from Sevilla.
Pontevedra 2 – 1 CD Tenerife
Samuel Shashoua went the distance for Tenerife on Wednesday evening, however his return to full-strength after significant injury concerns was dampened by an upset loss to third-level Pontevedra.
Shashoua played the full 90 minutes for the first time in nearly a year, hopefully putting to close a painful chapter in his career that has seen constant struggles with a nagging groin injury.
Still, the third-tier club Pontevedra did all they needed to pull off the unexpected victory in the early going.
Libasse Gueye was the hero for the hosts, striking a looping wonder-goal to the upper left corner in the second minute, then again striking from distance in the 16th, with a shot to the lower left corner.
Ivan Romero did pull one back for Tenerife in the 63rd minute, which saw Shashoua playing an early role in the build-up, ending several touches later with the substitute lunging in at the right post to poke the ball over the line.
Both teams ended the game with ten men on the field after Tenerife’s Jose Angel Jurado and Pontevedra’s Yelko Pino were both shown a second yellow, however the hosts held on under considerable pressure to take the win.
Shashoua will hope to continue being in the action when Tenerife visit Malaga on January 7.
Ceuta 3 – 2 UD Ibiza
Armando Shashoua earned the start for UD Ibiza on Wednesday night in their narrow loss to third-division Ceuta.
The hosts suffered an initial blow in the fifth minute when Robin Lafarge clumsily knocked the ball into his own net, however Nito González canceled the mistake nine minutes later with an excellent free kick from just outside the area.
Rodri then gave the hosts the lead in the 21st minute following a free kick, redirecting Lafarge’s header over the line, although Ibiza sent the game into the half on even terms thanks to an open header from Ekain Zenitagoia four minutes into added time.
In the end, a 48th-minute looping strike by González from the left of the area to the upper right corner of Ibiza’s goal was enough to secure the hosts the victory.
Shashoua and Ibiza are on break until January 8, when they visit Eibar in La Liga 2 action.
Luca Koleosho was not in uniform for Espanyol on Tuesday night as they narrowly handlled fourth-level opponent Atlético Paso by a 1-0 margin.
Jonathan Gomez didn’t make Real Sociedad’s squad on Thursday for their 5-0 road win over fourth-tier Coria.