Miraculous Mirandes set for visit to Bilbao

Miraculous Mirandes set for visit to Bilbao

MADRID - Reuters
Miraculous Mirandes set for visit to Bilbao

Spanish international forward Fernando Llorente scored both of Athletic Bilbao’s goals in his team’s Spanish cup semifinal first-leg match at Mirandes. AFP photo

Third-tier giantkiller Mirandes will be seeking to work a miracle in the Spanish King’s Cup tonight when the team travels to the intimidating San Mames to play Athletic Bilbao, known as The Lions.

Bilbao, sixth in La Liga, can look to powerful Spain striker Fernando Llorente, who has returned from injury scoring six times in three games. He netted both goals in their 2-1 first leg win in Miranda de Ebro last week.

Mirandes, who has an annual budget of just over 1.2 million euros compared to the 60 million euros or so at Bilbao’s disposal, grabbed a lifeline with Ander Lambarri’s injury-time goal.

The semi-professional Mirandes is only the second club from the Segunda B to have reached the last four of the competition in its current format.

Valencia will take on Barcelona in the other semifinal tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Sevilla has sacked coach Marcelino Garcia after a poor run of games in which they have slipped down to 11th in the standings, the La Liga club said yesterday.

A 2-1 home defeat a day earlier to struggling Villarreal, who had not won on the road this season, means Sevilla has not won a league game since early December.

“Sevilla took the decision to sack first-team coach Marcelino this morning due to the negative run of results that has seen them go seven matches without winning and collect only two points,” the Andalucian side said in a statement.

With 26 points from 21 matches, Sevilla is four points above the relegation places and six adrift of the Champions League berths.