Nightmare Copa start for new Alaves coach | Ralph Lauren

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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 team Almeria in the Copa del Rey.

Cadiz also lost at second division Girona 2-0 in the round of 16, joining the 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 by the Basque club on Tuesday to replace Pablo Machin with the club two points above the relegation zone in La Liga.

His 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.

More mistakes by the 10-men visitors turned into goals for Almeria.

Goalkeeper Antonio Sivera let a long shot by Ager Agetxe slip through his grasp to make it 2-0 before halftime, and Sadiq then back-heeled his second after Sivera and a defender bungled each other’s efforts to stop him.

Rodrigo Battaglia headed a cross into his own net in an inept attempt to clear the ball 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.

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.

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