Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Jozy Altidore received a rare start from Villarreal head coach Juan Carlos Garrido however the Yellow Submarine went down in defeat to Sevilla in the return leg of their Copa del Rey quarterfinal.
Altidore started up front along with New Jersey-born Giuseppe Rossi and played the first 61 minutes before yielding his spot to Argentine Marco Ruben.
It was a surprise move by Garrido to tab Altidore in his starting 11 for the contest at Sevilla's Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan.
For the past several matches, Ruben had been the one paired up top with Rossi since Brazilian striker Nilmar went down with an injury and many fans expected a similar alignment on Tuesday.
The two teams had battled to a 3-3 draw in the first leg so the impetus for Villarreal was to start the match quickly and look for the coveted away goal.
Much to Garrido's chagrin, the complete opposite happened and it only took seven minutes for Sevilla to score when Renato tapped in an Alvaro Negredo cross after Villarreal defender Mateo Musacchio had mistakenly deflected a ball toward his own goal.
The early goal by the Andalusians forced Villarreal to push early and Altidore nearly had an answer in the 16th minute but his shot sailed over the net.
Nearly 20 minutes later the guests had arguably their best opportunity of the half when Altidore played in a ball to Cani down the left side only to see the midfielder shoot wide of the right post.
Garrido kept the same 11 for the start of the second half but that is when it would all start to unravel for the Yellow Submarine.
In just the 47th minute, Freddy Kanoute headed in a corner to give Sevilla the two goal advantage and thus, forcing Villarreal to score three goals to advance.
The task was made even tougher three minutes later on yet another corner kick as Sevilla defender Alexis Ruano headed in a bouncing ball inside the six yard line.
Ten minutes later Garrido elected to bring on Ruben for Altidore ending the night for the US international.
Ruben did not have much luck himself against the Sevilla defense in the final 30 minutes as the hosts tucked away the victory and a spot in the Copa del Rey semifinals.
Altidore and Villarreal will hope to do better this weekend when they return to action in La Liga against Real Sociedad at home.