Sport » Soccer » Elche CF
BARNSTORMING ELCHE WIN!
John McGregor / 2011-11-20 18:12:41
Elche 3 Deportivo la Coruna 2
At last the referee blew after 30 agonising minutes of injury time – oh, alright then, five - it just seemed like lots more, and Elche held on, just about deservedly to beat and leap-frog above once-mighty Deportivo into fifth place in the league.
But not first without considerable anxiety for their 7,369 loyal fans, including six from ’ oop north, as the Illicitanos lost a two-goal lead before coming back to score a cracking late winner.
The home defence was reshuffled as Berenger was started at left back with Carpio returning on the right, and Flano partnering Peligrin in the middle of the back four. The established midfield of Palanca, Mantecon, Acciari and Xumetra supported Angel and Bille upfront. Our old friend Saul appeared on the wide right for Deportivo, he was a popular player at the Martinez Valero for a couple of seasons.
An early Deportivo goal was disallowed for offside following a free kick, then a corner as Elche tried to settle their nerves. Early home forays on both flanks began to look more dangerous, and as early as the 16th minute Elche went ahead from – who else? - the aptly-named Angel, who after a four-man move down the right was fed by Bille, cut in, beat his man and his low shot hit the inside of the far post and went in – great start for Elche!
Only 4 minutes later and it was 2 – 0. A disputed corner was taken by Xumetra and majestically bulleted in by Acciari’s head as he soared above the visitors defence. What a start against a confident team that has started the season well. More please?
It stayed 2 – 0 at half-time, and like Villareal two weeks ago we Elche stalwarts looked forward to more goals (although also trying to forget what happened four weeks ago when we were murdering Numancia in the first half and they nearly came back to beat us in the second!).
Hmm...suddenly Deportivo started to look dangerous – or was it Elche looking nervy and vulnerable again? After several near-misses in the Illicitanos goal the real thing happened on 52 minutes, and it honestly came as no surprise. Following the usual panic in defence Guardado scored from close in, and we began to worry - again. Bordelas began to play his subs game, but Deportivo had their tails up and after 12 more sweaty minutes Lassad rifled in the equaliser – our worst Numancia nightmares were here again – how does it all go wrong so quickly?
But hang on - we’ve been her e before – w e can do it! Xumetra was having a great afternoon, and on 72 minutes he wandered into the edge of the Deportivo area, but with three defenders around him and little support. Using bewildering close control he dribbled through four challenges, working his way across the goal until, on the centre of the six yard line he swivelled and cracked the ball past Aranzubia into the visitors net to delirious home delight for what proved, seemingly an age later, but in reality twenty-odd minutes, to be the winner.
Predictably Deportivo threw everything at Elche to try and get something from the game, after all they had come back from the dead once and had nothing to lose. As the temperature rose so did the bookings count: previously it was Deportivo who led the yellow card stakes, usually reserved for the Franjiverdes.
So – next week another High Noon thriller, but this time the best local derby: Elche away to bitter rivals – and league leaders now, to spice it up even more – Hercules in Alicante! After you with the insults...see you there?
Photos Kevin Rendall