Barcelona need extra time to beat Intercity in Copa del Rey tie

Sports Desk, Jan 4 (EFE).- FC Barcelona qualified for the knockout stage of the Copa del Rey with a 4-3 extra-time victory Wednesday over third-division side CF Intercity.

The current LaLiga leaders took the lead on three separate occasions at Jose Rico Perez stadium in Alicante, only to see Oriol Soldevila brings the hosts level three times.

Far from taking Intercity lightly, Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez included plenty of first-team players in his starting 11.

Barcelona, in pursuit of a record-extending 32nd Copa del Rey title, started well and grabbed the lead in the 4th minute courtesy of Ronald Araujo, who got his head to a Pablo Torre corner kick.

Yet the Blaugrana would go on to put only one other shot on target in the first half, a Memphis Depay strike that hit the cross-bar, and Araujo had to make a stop on his own goal line to deny Intercity’s Aaron Pinan in the 18th minute.

Ousmane Dembele forced a stop from Intercity keeper Gaiza Campos five minutes into the second half and Barcelona created a pair of chances before Soldevila equalized in the 59th minute.

Seven minutes later, Dembele chipped the ball over Campos to restore the lead for the visitors.

In the 74th minute, Soldevila beat Iñaki Peña to make it 2-2. But Barcelona went ahead again in the 77th with a goal by Raphinha.

Late sub Ansu Fati put the ball in the side-netting two minutes later on a chance to seal the win for the LaLiga side.

The final 10 minutes included good saves by both keepers before Soldevila completed the hat trick in the 87th minute.

While Intercity looked like a team ready to roll the dice in a shootout, Barcelona poured on the pressure in extra-time and Fati scored what would prove to be the winner in the 103rd minute. EFE jas/dr

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