RCD Espanyol came back from two goals down with five minutes to go to edge a Copa del Rey quarter-final first-leg thriller against plucky CD Mirandés and take a 3-2 lead into the return.
Trailing to strikes either side of half-time from their third-division visitors, Espanyol mustered a remarkable recovery as Vladimír Weiss (85) and Rui Fonte (87) levelled the match before Joan Verdú applied the 89th-minute coup de grace for Mauricio Pochettino's men.
Segunda B high-fliers Mirandés had looked destined for a third giant killing in the competition from the 28th minute in Barcelona when Alain raced through a static Espanyol rearguard to beat goalkeeper Francisco Casilla. Pablo Infante further silenced the Cornellà-El Prat crowd by plundering his sixth goal in the competition 12 minutes from time.
Despite their narrow defeat, Carlos Pouso's Mirandés side – conquerors of Villarreal CF and Real Racing Club on their way to the last eight – may still fancy their chances of overturning the deficit when the tie concludes in northern Spain on 24 January.
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