Forza Futbol

A Better Lens at Spanish Football





With all due respect to Murcia, Elche should still be unbeaten in the Segunda. It was a great match played between the two sides with a terrific environment at the Nueva Condomina but the penalty called against Elche was questionable at best as it gifted Murcia the 1-0 win. Was there some contact on Kike Garcia from Hector Verdes? Yes, but it was minimal and the late ‘reaction’ from Garcia leads to believe that it was a dive. Nevertheless the penalty was called and Mantilla converted it a la Panenka and there you have the Ilicitanos first defeat of the season.


Once again Recreativo look like world beaters in Huelva as Recre smacked Villarreal 2-0 thanks to two second half goals. Villarreal are struggling of late to create in attack and it cost them as Recre played their game, solid in defense and quick on the counter to snatch goals including a golazo from Jonathan Valle in second half stoppage time. Julio Velazquez is not in danger of losing his job but keeping an eye on this situation is worthwhile, considering that former Villarreal player Rodolfo Arruabarrena just left as Tigre boss down in Argentina. As for Recre, they have only conceded two goals this season at home.


In a result that made zero sense, Alcorcon went to Soria and beat Numancia 0-1. Hands down the best away match played this season at Alcorcon while Numancia, usually very strong and always looking to attack at home, were rather content and let Alcorcon dictate the pace which led to Oriol Riera’s game winner in the 69th. Natalio had a golden opportunity to equalize but he deposited his shot right into the hands of Alcorcon keeper Manu Fernandez. Credit to Pepe Bordalas for winning in one of the Segunda’s toughest spots to get points.


There is something wrong with Sabadell. After ripping off that four match winning streak earlier in the season, the Catalans are now losers of their last three and were played off the pitch in their 1-0 loss to Las Palmas. They’re lucky it was even that close. The Pio Pio outplayed Sabadell from start to finish thoroughly dominating. Only some brilliant saves from Sabadell keeper Nauzet Perez avoided a ‘goleada’. How about his for a stat… Las Palmas earned their first home win in 161 days. Kinda crazy, no?


Well, it was just a matter of time and following Hercules’ 0-0 draw with Guadalajara, the Alicante side finally fired Juan Carlos Mandia who was a lame duck manager for about the last two months. Sad thing is that Hercules played a man up the final 65 minutes of the match after a Vicente red card yet still couldn’t score even playing in commemorative jerseys celebrating the club’s 90th anniversary that made the players look Athletic Bilbao-ish. Good point here for Guadalajara. Nothing good for Hercules. New boss is Quique Hernandez who managed Huesca last year. I think this will be something like his 157th managerial gig in the Segunda.


Another 0-0 result played out in El Sardinero as Racing split the points with Lugo. US captain Carlos Bocanegra was back in the starting 11 and appeared to have scored a goal in the first half only to see the referee wave it off due to a foul. That’s usually the type of call seen in some road World Cup qualifying match, but it was whistled nonetheless. After that, perhaps recognizing their own incapabilities, both teams seemed content to just shoot from outside which yielded nothing. I’m sorry if you paid money to watch this.


Maybe the only thing that can stop high-flying Girona is a steady rain and poor field conditions as the Catalans played to a 1-1 draw with Mirandes at Miranda de Ebro. Good to see Carlos Pouso back on the bench after a six match suspension for Mirandes as the points have been hard to come by for the newly promoted side. Acuna scored in the 84th only to see a looping shot from Raul Garcia level things up. No worries though if you are a Girona fan. Just a little hiccup.


Everyone in Gijon wanted to impress the new boss and they did just that winning 2-1 over Almeria in Jose Ramon Sandoval’s debut as Sporting manager. All goals were scored in the second half with Bilic and former Barca B man Carlos Carmona bagging the game winner with a sizzling shot. Also of note was the play of Oscar Trejo. The Argentine had arguably his finest season playing under Sandoval at Rayo two years ago and already looked to be benefitting under his presence again. Should also mention that Sporting defender Sergio Fernandez has retired due to injuries. A long-time Primera player with stops at clubs like Osasuna and Zaragoza, it’s sad to see a player have to retire with several good years left in him.


Maybe if they hadn’t had to play 120 minutes of midweek Copa action Ponferradina would have had the legs to finish off Xerez but instead it was the azulino, not the Bercianos, who walked away with the three points as 0-1 winners. Ponfe was the better of the two here but just couldn’t get the final touch. Meanwhile Xerez hung in there and then took advantage of Ponfe keeper Orlando Quintana coming off his line late on a ball allowing Tato to round him and eventually slot a shot past two Ponfe defenders. Big win for Esteban Vigo there.


Cordoba held serve again at home winning 1-0 over Real Madrid Castilla, a rare clean sheet against the Baby Moudrilenos. How Jese missed on his first half one on one with Cordoba keeper Alberto Garcia is beyond me but there were plenty of other missed opportunities including a disallowed goal to Cordoba’s Abel Gomez. This one also saw a late game winner as Patino fired in from about two yards out to take all three points for the home side in the 90th. Bittersweet homecoming for Castilla’s Borja Garcia who was a big part of Cordoba’s success last season. Garcia had to leave the match with an injury.


We conclude with Huesca-Barcelona B which was suspended due to heavy rains. Chalk that up as a win for Huesca who lost in the midweek in Copa action to Ponferradina after 120 minutes. Now the Aragonians can rest a tad before this one is played, which looks to be November 1st which is of course a holiday in Spain and also coincides with more Copa action, a moot point for these two.



Follow me on Twitter! @ArchBell


Arch On October - 22 - 2012

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