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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan, 18, 2006

Cassano off the mark at Real

MADRID, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Italy striker Antonio Cassano scored four minutes into his Real Madrid debut to give them a 1-0 win over Real Betis in the first leg of their King's Cup quarter-final on Wednesday.

Holders Betis had looked the more dangerous side until substitute Cassano's 65th-minute goal in an intense match in Seville with few chances.

The former AS Roma striker replaced Roberto Soldado after an hour, just before Capi saw his goalbound header cleared from under Real's bar by the head of Brazilian defender Cicinho.

Guti's free kick four minutes later was headed high into the area. Toni Doblas came out to clear but the Betis keeper flapped at the ball with his attempted punch and it dropped at Cassano's feet for the simplest of tap-ins.

The result makes it three wins from three in all competitions for Juan Ramon Lopez Caro's improving side and leaves Betis with all the work to do in the second leg at the Bernabeu.

In the day's other quarter-final first leg, Espanyol won 2-0 at Cadiz thanks to a 51st-minute goal by new signing Walter Pandiani and a fine individual effort from Fredson near the end.

Deportivo Coruna take on Valencia at home on Thursday.

SPIRITED FIGHTBACK

In their delayed last-16 second leg, Real Zaragoza survived a spirited fight-back from Atletico Madrid to draw 2-2 and book a quarter-final showdown with league leaders Barcelona.

Zaragoza progressed 3-2 on aggregate.

Atletico went into the game on the back of a 10-match run without a league victory and 1-0 down from the first leg, and trailed after nine minutes when midfielder Cani bundled in the rebound after his first shot was saved by Ismael Falcon.

Cani turned provider for Oscar Gonzalez in the 26th minute, crossing from the left for the midfielder to score at the near post.

Mateja Kezman pulled a goal back for Atletico after 33 minutes following good work from Argentine winger Luciano Galletti.

Galletti equalised in the second half after Fernando Torres's surging run opened up the Zaragoza defence.

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