The South American duo secured victory as Valencia embarked on a winning start to its Copa Del Rey campaign.
Valencia secured a comfortable 2-0 win away at Segunda Division B outfit Llagostera to get its Copa Del Rey campaign up and running in the first leg of the Round of 32 tie on the strength of goals by Jonas and Nelson Valdez.
The hosts’ fielded a strong starting XI, with coach Oriol Alsina looking to cause and early upset against the under-performing Primera Division side. Meanwhile, Los Che coach Mauricio Pellegrino named a significantly weakened squad for the trip to the Catalan side, taking only 16 players with him to the Estadio Municipal, and resting key starters Adil Rami, Joao Pereira and Roberto Soldado.Llagostera pressed for the opener and came close through Pitu and Alberto Tito, but both were denied by the respective defensive exploits of Ricardo Costa and Ever Banega. It was Valencia, then, that began to control proceedings, and the visitors finally made their dominance count on the stroke of halftime, with Jonas on hand to head home from a well worked free-kick involving Dani Parejo and Mexican international Andres Guardado.
Jonas felt he had netted his second of the evening four minutes, only to see his half volley chalked off for offside, despite replays suggesting it was the incorrect call by the referee’s assistant.
Sola Enric Pi then came within inches of equalizing for the hosts, with his free kick drifting just wide of the far post, but it mattered little, as Nelson Valdez extended the advantage for Los Che. The Paraguayan rose highest to head home from Parejo’s corner to double the lead.
Llagostera was given a lifeline with eight minutes to go when Antonio Barragan brought down substitute Marc Serramitja in the 18-yard box, but Marc Sellares was unable to capitalze, smashing his penalty against the post, despite sending Vicente Guaita the wrong way.
Despite late pressure from the hosts, Valencia held on for the win as its gears up for a tough weekend La Liga encounter away at Atletico Madrid, while Llagostera hosts Oriheula.