Pandiani back to haunt Deportivo
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Walter Pandiani came back to haunt his former employers Deportivo La Coruna.Walter Pandiani came back to haunt his former employers Deportivo La Coruna as he bagged a last minute winner to give Espanyol a 2-1 win in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final.
The match was spoilt in large by a series of controversial refereeing decisions from referee Medina Cantalejo, but the game was settled in fine style by Pandiani.
The first note of incident came within the opening five minutes when Javier Arizmendi went down in the box after brushing the back of Albert Lopo.
Much to the annoyance of the home players and crowd, Cantalejo pointed to the spot and Ruben Castro fired home.
Ruben could and should have added further to Deportivo's advantage - but he fired wide either side of the break.
Pandiani was showing well against his ex-club and he almost levelled matters - but he managed to strike the post from six yards with a vicious volley.
Parity was restored just before the hour and again Mr Cantalejo played a major part in events yet again as he spotted a handball against Jorge Andrade and awarded Espanyol a spot kick of their own.
Luis Garcia was given the chance to level and he made no mistake from 12 yards.
Still the referee was not finished as he reduced Deportivo to ten men when Fabricio Coloccini was adjudged to have deliberately kicked out at Garcia when jumping for the ball and was shown a straight red.
Espanyol looked as if they had failed to take advantage of their extra man, with Ivan de la Pena and Lopo both going close.
De La Pena, though, did manage to open up the Deportivo defence as his intuitive pass into the box found its way to Pandiani - and he rifled the ball home for the winner with just seconds remaining.
The two clubs now travel to La Coruna for the second leg with the tie very much in the balance.