Real Sociedad vs Mirandes He could be the Pablo Infante of 2020

EFE

Barcelona have spent some time looking for a forward to replace Ousmane Dembele, but perhaps they could look to one of the stars of the Copa del Rey in Mirandes striker Matheus.

The 23-year-old is taking advantage of every minute to score goals and Thursday night he scored again, his sixth of the season in the Copa del Rey.

That strike leaves Matheus one behind Alex Isak in the race for the top scorer award in the competition this season.

“I always play with gloves; I don’t know if that’s a superstition, but I like to play with gloves,” Mathues told MARCA.

The hero of the team’s promotion to the Segunda Division last season after scoring three in the playoffs against Atletico Madrid B and Atletico Baleares, the Watford loanee is shining in the Copa del Rey.

Isak and Roberto Soldado are stiff competition for the top scorer award, but he has already scored against four top-flight teams and he could follow Pablo Infante, Mirandes‘ hero eight years ago, who scored more than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The man behind Mirandes‘ success is head coach Andoni Iraola, who is showing his expertise despite a slow start in the league.

His style of pressing high and being prudent has caught the eye, particularly at San Mames where he used to play, though there are no plans to axe Gaizka Garitano.

After the 2-1 result, the tie is still open and Mirandes know how to beat Real Sociedad, having done so in 2004.

That tie went to penalties after a 0-0 draw, but this time Mirandes will need a victory on home turf.

Mikel Oyarzabal‘s penalty and Martin Odegaard‘s strike couldn’t do anything to reduce the quality of Limones‘ display in the Mirandes goal.

Real Sociedad fans gave a warm welcome to Modibo Sagnan, Jon Guiri and Martin Merquelanz, the three players out on loan at Mirandes from La Real.

Sagnan was unavailable to play due to injury but the other two started the tie.

For the first time in 70 years of existence, Mirandes hope to make the Copa del Rey final and that would be historic, given the 50 years they have spent in the Tercera Division.

What’s more, Mirandes haven’t lost at home since the opening day of the season in August.

Real Sociedad fans are desperate for a cup final after 32 years of waiting and the thought of a Basque derby final has them excited.

After an impressive turnout to welcome the team bus, 35,194 were present to take in the semi-final against a second-tier team.

A distance of 133 kilometres separates Miranda de Ebro and San Sebastian, yet 18 buses and 5,700 fans made the journey.

It’s an impressive tally given that Miranda de Ebro only has 35,000 inhabitants.

Real Sociedad are taking this tournament seriously and didn’t hold back.

They head into the second leg with a one goal lead, but it is all to play for.


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