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Horro Copa start for returned Alaves coach

Coach Abelardo Fernandez had a nightmare debut as he launched his second stint at Alaves with the Spanish La Liga side being routed 5-0 by second-tier Almeria in the Copa del Rey.

Cadiz lost at second division Girona 2-0 in the round of 16 while Elche lost 2-0 to Rayo Vallecano to jointhe group of top-flight sides to have fallen against lower-division opponents in the early rounds.

Atletico Madrid, Getafe, Celta Vigo and Huesca also all lost in the round of 32.

“The first thing I want to do is to ask our fans for forgiveness,” Abelardo said after his team’s defeat.

“We played very poorly. We play better or worse, but we must compete, and we did not even do that. I am very disappointed. We hope that this blow will force us to turn this around.”

Abelardo, a former Barcelona defender, coached Alaves from December 2017 to May 2019.

After an unsuccessful stint at Espanyol last season, he was rehired on Tuesday by the Basque club – who sit two points above the La Liga drop zone – to replace Pablo Machin.

Abelardo’s new reign got off to a woeful start with Almeria’s Sadiq Umar scoring the opener by the half-hour while Alaves midfielder Tomas Pina was sent off for headbutting an opponent after they apparently exchanged some heated words.

Goalkeeper Antonio Sivera let a long shot by Ager Agetxe slip through his grasp before halftime and Sadiq then back-heeled home his second.

Rodrigo Battaglia headed a cross into his own net in the 52nd, and a penalty conceded by Xima Navarro sent Almeria’s Juan Villar to the spot for the fifth goal.

Cadiz were unable to create a single shot on goal at Girona, who scored twice through Valery Fernandez early in the second half.

Bebe and Alejandro Catena got the goals for Vallecano against Elche at the Spanish Football Federation’s headquarters just outside of Madrid.

Two previous attempts at playing the game, first at Rayo’s stadium, and at their training ground, had been abandoned earlier in the day due to the failure to clear away snow on the pitch.

Real Valladolid needed added time to avoid an upset at third-tier Pena Deportiva on the island of Ibiza, Roque Mesa scoring twice in added time to help them win 4-1.

Levante’s visit to Fuenlabrada also went as expected but the visitors needed a penalty shootout to prevail after the match ended 1-1 after 90 minutes.

Sevilla had to wait until six minutes into extra-time before finally breaking the deadlock in their 1-0 win over Leganes.

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