Sociedad dedicates goal to player hospitalized for stroke
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Real Sociedad substitute Juan Miguel Jimenez dedicated the goal that earned a 1-1 draw at Celta Vigo on Thursday to a teammate recovering from a stroke.
After slotting in a pass by Aritz Elustondo in the 89th minute, Jimenez raced to the dugout and held up the No. 23 shirt of Lucas Sangalli, who suffered a light stroke while training with the team the day before the Copa del Rey match.
“It’s an important goal for the tie and to show our support for Lucas, who we all miss very much,” Jimenez said. “We hope he recovers soon and can get back to playing football, which is what he loves.”
Sociedad said on Wednesday that Sangalli was under observation in the hospital.
Sangalli, 23, came up through Sociedad’s youth teams before making his debut in August. The midfielder has scored one goal in six appearances this season.
Celta went ahead in the 58th when striker Iago Aspas tapped in a cross headed toward to the far post by Nestor Araujo.
The return legs of the round-of-32 will be played during the first week in December.
Top-flight teams Sevilla, Espanyol, Villarreal and Eibar all failed to win their first-leg matches at the grounds of lower-division opponents.
Sevilla, the five-time Cup winner, was held to a 0-0 draw at third-division Villanovense. The closest Sevilla came to a goal was when Quincy Promes shot off the post from a tight angle.
Almeria substitute Sekou Gassama scored twice in the final five minutes to earn a 3-3 draw with Villarreal. Santi Cazorla scored his first goal from open play since returning to Villarreal from Arsenal in the offseason.
Eibar lost 2-0 at Sporting Gijon, and Espanyol fell 2-1 at Cadiz after conceding a goal in the first minute after a passing error by goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez.
Real Betis avoided a similar setback by winning 1-0 at third-division side Racing Santander thanks to an early penalty by Sergio Leon.