Sport » Soccer » Elche CF
ELCHE: JUST ONE OF ‘THOSE’ DAYS….
By John McGregor / 2013-03-10 18:19:19
Elche 0 Mirandes 1
The minnows of Mirandes, fourth-from-bottom strugglers from Burgos way cannot have held much hope of getting anything prior to this game. Mighty Elche have only dropped two home points all season, all the other 13 home games were won, which combined with the Illicitanos’ excellent away results have meant Elche are deservedly top by 12 points.
But hey, this is football, and anyone who knows anything about the game knows every dog will have his day – sometime. On a grey, overcast Saturday evening at Elche’s huge Martinez Valero stadium Mirandes certainly had theirs, scoring in the 44th minute with their only real shot of the game, completely against the run of play all the way through.
Elche were at full strength, roared on by a huge crowd of 22,653, including six from Mirandes with the lofty upper tiers now open, as though preparing for La Liga already – it’s too early! Only two minutes had gone, when following Angel’s shot pushed wide for a corner Pelegrin blasted his volley over following an inswinging Suarez corner.
Rivera skied a long shot over, with the home side totally in command. Both Fidel on the left, and Xumetra on the right were finding space, but neither were crossing effectively in the visitor’s crowded defence. Albacar’s inswinging corner bounced off the bar and Etxeita slotted his low shot just wide. After a few niggly fouls from each side Elche captain Generelo was the first in the book on the half hour for a blatant trip straight in front of the referee: hmm…
Just as everyone was settling for a goalless first half a long ball from on the right halfway line was chipped into the Elche area. The normally reliable Etxeita slipped and made a mess of it, and let in his marker De Cerlo who couldn’t believe his luck. Poor old heroic Herrera in the usually Fort Knox-like Elche goal had no chance as the Mirandes striker‘s low shot cannoned off the post for an unbelievable goal, and 0 – 1 it stayed at half-time.
In the crazy second half Angel himself had four chances he would normally put away, but it wouldn’t go in. To pep things up first Xumetra was subbed for Carles Gil, than Fidel for Aaron. With time running out big Berry Powel came on for Rivera, instantly beginning to win high balls to nod down for quicksilver Angel and Coro, but it was all too late - he should have been on at half time.
Anyone who reads this column knows I have a very poor opinion of Generelo, and ten minutes from time, just to prove me right, he did it exactly again - his worst feature, a late, lazy foul right under the ref’s nose - second yellow, off he went.
Good, now he won’t be available for three games. Elche are much better off without him; he’s a liability with little class, and Elche have better midfielders, Mantecon for a start.
At the frustrating end the loyal Elche crowd gave their ten men a standing ovation, they had given their all – except Generelo, who had torn off his shirt and immediately disappeared down the tunnel. So let’s hope a lesson’s been learned, and Elche can put it behind them on a ‘ you can’t win ‘em all’ basis and get on with it next week away to Numancia.
By a strange quirk of fate going-like-a-train second-placed Almeria also lost at home, 2 – 3 – you just couldn’t make it up, could you?