MADRID Ė Vinicius Junior scored one goal and assisted on another in Real Madridís 3-0 victory on Wednesday night over Leganes in their round-of-16 first-leg game of the Copa del Rey, Spainís annual knockout soccer competition.
The Blancos got off to a frustrating start at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, with Karim Benzema squandering two early chances on a shot over the crossbar and a bouncing header into the arms of goalkeeper Cuellar.
But Leganes also had a missed opportunity to rue when goalkeeper Keylor Navas dove to his left to save a powerful header by striker Martin Braithwaite.
Late in the first half, the Blancosí Alvaro Odriozola made his presence felt in the opposing goal area.
After a bizarre decision to pass instead of shoot in a one-on-one chance against Cuellar, he won a penalty just before first-half stoppage time when he was taken down by defender Rodri Tarin in the area.
Sergio Ramos then converted from the 12-yard mark to give Real Madrid a 1-0 lead heading into the intermission.
That advantage did wonders for the home sideís confidence and level of play in the second half.
Although Vinicius missed out on a couple of chances to score, Real Madridís constant pressure led to the second goal in the 69th minute.
On the play, Benzema capitalized on a defensive error to take possession of the ball in the area and pass off to Vinicius, who set up Lucas Vasquez for an easy score into a virtually empty net.
The final goal came off the foot of Vinicius, who volleyed home a pass from Odriozola in the 77th minute.
Leganes will have a massive hill to climb when it hosts the second leg of this Copa del Rey round-of-16 series at Butarque Municipal Stadium on Jan. 16.