Vol. 5 Num 156 Thu. October 28, 2004  

Spanish King's Cup
Owen scores treble!

Real Madrid striker Michael Owen scored his third goal in three games when he helped his side to a 2-1 win over third division neighbours Leganes in the first round of the King's Cup.

Fellow striker Fernando Morientes, getting his first start of the season, put Real ahead in the 19th minute when he poked the ball home on the rebound after an Owen volley.

The England striker, who got the winners in Real's 1-0 victories against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League and Valencia in the Primera Liga, made it 2-0 early in the second half as he steered the ball in after a neat pass from Morientes.

But Real had to endure a nervous finale on Tuesday after Leganes pulled one back with a superb Dani Ruiz free kick in the 56th minute.

Deportivo Coruna striker Diego Tristan continued his impressive return to form by scoring both goals in the 2-0 victory against fourth division Cerceda, a game which saw both sides reduced to 10 men after 30 minutes.

In Tuesday's other match, Primera Liga side Osasuna managed to squeeze through with a 4-2 victory on penalties against third division Castellon after the game ended 0-0.

Holders Real Zaragoza, who claimed a dramatic extra-time victory over Real Madrid in last year's final, face a tricky game at second division Gimnastic on Wednesday when league leaders Barcelona visit third division Gramenet.

Leganes's 8,000-capacity stadium was only half full for the arrival of a shadow Real Madrid side missing leading Galacticos Ronaldo, Raul, Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo and David Beckham.

But with Owen and Morientes leading the way, Real took little time to get the measure of their modest opponents.

Owen forced a sharp save from goalkeeper Sergio Vera with a close-range snap volley following a miscued clearance by the Leganes defence and Morientes was on hand to stab home the rebound in the 19th minute.

Morientes returned the favour at the start of the second half when he powered his way into the area and cut back a neat pass to Owen who tucked a first-time left foot shot past the keeper and inside the far post.

But Leganes, who had barely managed to mount an attack in the first half, narrowed the lead when Ruiz looped a perfectly struck free kick over the wall and beyond the reach of keeper Cesar in the 56th minute.

Real went through a nervous patch for the next 15 minutes and were fortunate not to concede a penalty when defender Javier Paredes handled in the area but they eventually regained their composure to book themselves a place in the next round.