Competition news

REVIEW: AALBORG 3 – DEPORTIVO 0 (UEFA)

18 Feb 2009
Another disastrous away match for Deportivo, and one more scoreless game for the Galicians playing at the Scandinavian region. Depor fell down thanks to its own miseries against an ordered rival that just knew how to capitalise Depor’s errors. Now, a new miracle is needed at the Riazor.

BEFORE THE GAME
Lotina chose Juan Rodr?guez instead of Verd?? in order to complete his line of three midfielders, while Pablo ?lvarez appeared as one of the playmakers no matter Lotina said on Tuesday that Lafita would play. Lopo was also fit and joined Z? Castro in the centre of the defence. Valer??n was the other playmaker in the formation and Mista the lonely attacker.

At Aalborg, coach Magnus Pehrsson made some important changes. Kasper Risg??rd, who was doubtful due to a knee problem, didn’t start and his place on the left was occupied by Brazilian Caca, while Anders Due covered the right wing. The defensive duo in midfield was conformed by Thomas Augustinussen and Thomas Enevoldsen. Andreas Johansson was the playmaker and debutant Luton Shelton, Jamaican attacker that joined the squad in the summer window, was replacing Jeppe Curth in attack. The temperature during the game was around -4 degrees Celsius, there was snow on the pitch, but it was cleared before the kick-off.

FIRST HALF
The locals started strongly and had a couple of opportunities within the first ten minutes; their strategy was based in attacks by both wings and in countless crosses into Depor’s area. It seemed they were aware of the lagoons that Piscu has shown when he performs as a right-back, and it’s that several attacks from the locals came by his side . At minute 3, one of those crosses, sent by Jakobsen, almost enter to the goal, but Shelton missed it and Z? Castro cleared the danger from the goal line.

Deportivo was having problems to elaborate a play in attack, and was constantly losing the ball in midfield, the first approximation for Lotina’s squad came at the 9th minute, it was a shot of Mista at the edge of the area, but the ball went over the crossbar.  One minute later, Due sent a new dangerous cross to Depor’s area, but Aranzubia was there to stop the ball.

The main problem for the visitors was the lack of combinative game in midfield, Valer??n was briefly appearing, though always with good passes, while Mista was very active, but without enjoying a clear change. The first time in which Depor’s men combined in front of AaB goal occurred at minute 19, Sergio started the play and made a pass to Valer??n, who assisted Mista and then the ball went to Filipe who sent a cross from the left, but it was cleared by a defender.

Depor started to gain the control over the game with the pass of the minutes, Sergio, Antonio Tom??s and Juan Rodr?guez were well placed in midfield, while Filipe and Pablo ?lvarez were sending crosses from both sides. But the occasions for the visitors weren’t so clear, mainly because the squad was missing too much passes. At minute 28, Valer??n appeared and drilled a ball to Filipe, but the defensive line of AaB cleared the danger.

Then the game became an exchange of blows, Depor had two occasions when Juan Rodr?guez and Pablo ?lvarez sent two crosses to the area, but Mista didn’t find the ball in both occasions. Then Aalborg appeared and had two clear opportunities, first through a free-kick at minute 35 that caught Depor by surprise, the defenders were expecting for another play and the action ended with Jakobsen firing from close range, and Aranzubia, with the help of the post, saved Depor. Two minutes later Caca couldn’t connect the ball after a cross of Bogelund, the defence couldn’t clear the danger, and then, the same Bogelund sent the ball over the crossbar.

Deportivo’s only shot on target during the first half came at minute 43, it was made by Sergio after the Catalan took a free-kick at the border of the area, but Zaza made the save without too much difficulties. In the counterattack, the local keeper made a quick pass and Aranzubia had to come out in order to control the ball before Shelton.

Half-time arrived and the result was fair, the Danish team dominated the first and the last ten minutes, but their only dangerous chance was the play in which Aranzubia and the post cleared the danger, while Depor barely attacked. Valer??n and Pablo Alvarez were the most active players for the Galicians.

SECOND HALF
As it happened in the first part, Aalborg had the initiative within the first minutes, the locals were insisting with countless crosses that didn’t represent a danger to Deportivo. The first approximation of the Galicians came at minute 50, a bad pass of AaB was intercepted by Depor and Mista drilled a pass to Valer??n, but Zaza arrived first.

All the crosses from the Danes were not looking so dangerous, until Anders Due found a long cross of Enevoldsen coming from the right, then he eluded Piscu and beat Aranzubia with a low shot after the ball was slightly deflected by Lopo.

The goal awoke a reaction at Depor, the visitors started to push up front and the best opportunity in the game for the Galicians came at the 57th minute, it was during a corner-kick that Lopo headed in the area and that Mista sent to the crossbar with a overhead kick, that was the only shot on target made by Depor in this half. Then Valer??n sent the rebound over the crossbar. One minute later Valer??n assisted Filipe, but the Brazilian couldn’t connect the ball. Then Omar Bravo replaced Mista.

The script of the game was now clear, the Danes were locked at their back zone and were waiting for a counterattack to define the game, while Depor was having the ball. At minute 63, a big opportunity for the locals arrived as Shelton stole a ball in midfield to assist Caca, but the cross of the Brazilian looking for Shelton was intercepted by Z? Castro.

It was then when Joan Verd?? replaced Valer??n, while Jeppe Curth did the same with Shelton. Both modifications were just refreshing moves as both team continued playing in the same way, but the true is that Depor lose the guide of El Flaco as Verd?? never showed up. The next opportunity for Deportivo came at minute 67, it was after a free-kick of Verd?? in which Lopo fought the ball and the action ended with Pablo Alvarez sending a wide shot. One minute later Omar Bravo missed the target as his header after a cross of Pablo Alvarez went close to the post.

And just when Depor seemed more dangerous, the reply of Aalborg arrived. And it was through a counterattack in which Depor’s defence failed. Bogelund assisted Enevoldsen inside the area, and the Danish drilled a perfect pass that Anders Due only had to push in.

 The goal left Depor in a complicate situation, with a two-goal disadvantage, but the Galicians continued insisting, though without any clear idea. At the 74th minute, Filipe was close to score through a free-kick, but his effort just passed close to the crossbar. Then Lotina risked sending Angel Lafita to replace Antonio Tom??s, move that switched the system into a 4-2-3-1, with Lafita on the left wing, Pablo Alvarez on the right, Verd?? in the playmaking function and Omar Bravo alone in attack.

But the new formation never put Aalborg in danger, mainly because the whole Danish team was locked at the back zone and also because there wasn’t any connection between Depor’s attacking players. And when the time was ending, Nikolay Ivanov appeared again to put the third nail in the coffin of Deportivo, At minute 89, Enevoldsen assisted Curth inside the area, Aranzubia came out to stop the play and the striker fell to the ground, the Basque keeper didn’t touch the ball, but neither the player. However, Ivanov whistled the penalty and booked Aranzubia, Lopo and Enevoldsen, this last two for been pushing each other after the call. 23-year-old Michael Jakobsen came to score from the penalty spot to bury Depor.

AFTER THE GAME
Once again Deportivo returns scoreless from Scandinavia and once again with a defeat at its shoulders. The Galicians briefly had the control of the game during the first part, but the Danes seized three of their best opportunities to obtain an important advantage in the series, they took advantage of the presence of Piscu and later of a deadly counterattack. Both chances capitalised by winger Anders DuePablo ?lvarez was the most regular man at Depor, but the best chance was for Mista as he hit the crossbar with an acrobatic shot. It is true that referee Ivanov was wrong when he whistled the last-minute penalty that represented the 3rd goal, but it’s also true that Deportivo did too little to secure a better result.

As it happened against Bran Bergen, Depor is now against the ropes, with a 0-3 aggregate score and with the necessity to search for a new ?miracle’ at the Riazor  In seven days, the Galicians need a 4-0 to advance to the next round, or at least a 3-0 to force extra-times and the penalties. But before that meeting, Depor is hosting Valencia FC for la liga (Sunday 21h00 CET).

MATCH STATISTICS
Aalborg: Zaza - Bogelund, Beauchamp, W?hler, Jakobsen – Augustinussen, Enevoldsen  - Due (Risg??rd 81’), Johansson, Caca (Kristensen 75’) - Shelton (Curth 66’)
Deportivo: Aranzubia - Piscu, Lopo, Z? Castro, Filipe Luis - Sergio, Antonio Tom??s (Lafita 76’), Juan Rodr?guez - Pablo ?lvarez, Valer??n (Verd?? 65’) – Mista (Omar Bravo 62’).
Goals: 1-0: (53’) Due, 2-0: (71’) Due, 3-0: (90’) Jakobsen (penalty).
Referee: Nikolay Ivanov (Russia). He showed yellow card to Filipe (15’), Pablo Alvarez (19’), Augustinussen (74’), Aranzubia (88’), Jakobsen (89’), Lopo (89’) and Enevoldsen (90’)
Venue: Energi Nord Arena 
Other statistics: Ball possession (39% - 61%); Total shots (8 - 5); Shots on target (6 - 2); Saves by the keepers (1 - 2); Corner-kicks  (1 - 1); Offsides (1 - 0); Fouls committed (6 - 8).

ARCHIVE NEWS FEB/09

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