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Valencia barely survives third-tier Tarragona in Copa del Rey

Photo: Juan Carlos Cardenas/EPA

Interim coach Nico Estevez's debut was hardly convincing, but Valencia escaped with the needed result.

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- Valencia limped into the Copa del Rey's round of 16 on Thursday after a nervy 1-0 win over third-division Gimnastic Tarragona.

With interim coach Nico Estevez making his debut in place of the fired Miroslav Djukic and the tie poised at 0-0 after the first leg, Pablo Alcazar's headed Valencia's winner in the 37th minute.

But Valencia showed signs of nerves at its Mestalla Stadium until the very end, with Helder Postiga having a penalty saved in the 88th minute. It also needed a stoppage-time save from goalkeeper Vicente Guaita to advance.

Djukic was fired on Monday, a day after Valencia was humbled 3-0 at Atletico Madrid.

Rayo Vallecano advanced after rallying to beat 10-man Valladolid 3-1, while Espanyol defeated second-tier Real Jaen 2-0 for a 4-2 win on aggregate.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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