Cacereno 0-1 Real Madrid: Rodrygo stunner sees Los Blancos past stubborn fourth-tier opponents

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A superb Rodrygo strike was enough for a much-changed Real Madrid side to see off fourth-tier Cacereno on Tuesday and secure their place in the Copa del Rey round of 16.

Plying their trade in the Segunda Federacion, Cacereno more than held their own as the the European and LaLiga champions were unconvincing with Carlo Ancelotti having made nine alterations following the victory over Real Valladolid on Friday.

But in the 69th minute, Rodrygo jinked onto his right foot before arrowing into the top-right corner and that proved be enough to see Madrid through.

Madrid's hopes of winning a 20th Copa del Rey, and their first since the 2013-14 campaign, remain alive but they made hard work of the victory.

It took until the 16th minute for the first shot on target of the contest, Dani Ceballos sending a tame long-range effort into the waiting hands of Ivan Moreno in the Cacereno goal.

The underdogs largely kept their opponents at bay during the first half and had a couple of attempts of their own, with David Grande testing Andriy Lunin before Carmelo Merenciano saw a shot deflected over the crossbar.

Ancelotti made a pair of changes at the break, but they had little impact as Cacereno continued to look the more threatening of the two teams, though Marco Asensio stung the palms of Moreno with a fierce drive.

Madrid were in need of a moment of quality, and Rodrygo provided one it in abundance when a mazy run into the box ended with the forward superbly curling home.

Ancelotti's men would not relinquish that lead, despite some late pressure, and they are in the hat for the next round.

 

What does it mean? Ancelotti's changes nearly come back to haunt him

Cacereno pushed Madrid all the way for a place in the next round as a raft of changes made by Ancelotti threatened to be costly.

The fourth-tier side registered nine shots, compared to just seven for the 14-time champions of Europe. They also completed 222 passes in the opposition half, compared to Madrid's 180.

Rodrygo the hero

With Madrid not at their best, they can be thankful to Rodrygo for his sublime run and finish to win the tie, a flash of quality that Cacereno were not able to find.

The Brazil international's goal capped a good performance, finishing with a team-high seven touches in the opposition box while no Madrid player had more shots than his two.

Hazard kept quiet

There was more frustration for Eden Hazard as he failed to stamp his authority on the game.

He did not register a shot or even a touch in Cacereno's penalty area, and Ancelotti decided he had seen enough, taking the former Belgium international off in the 68th minute.

What's next?

Both teams return to league action at the weekend, with Madrid travelling to face Villarreal in LaLiga while Cacereno travel to face Montijo.