Squad news


26 Feb 2009
Astonishing result at the Riazor, Depor deserved more, but it fell down victim of its own errors. The hope only lasted 40 minutes, time in which Deportivo scored a goal and pushed strongly, then the Danes scored three times and the second half was just a gift for the fans.

Throughout the day it was speculated that Lotina would return to the lineup with three central defenders (5-2-2-1), and it ended like that because Piscu, Colotto and Z? Castro were covering the centre, while De Guzm??n performed at the right sector, taking the role of defender and attacker by that side, same thing than Filipe on the left. In midfield Sergio and Antonio Tom??s were the two pivotes, while the offensive tasks were for Valer??n, Lafita and Bodipo. Around 20,000 fans were supporting Depor at the Riazor.

Meanwhile, coach Magnus Pehrsson sent exactly the same starting squad that defeated Deportivo one week ago. Luton Shelton reappeared as the lonely attacker and Jeppe Curth was sited on the bench. Anders Due, who scored two of the three goals in the first-leg game, was covering the right wing and Andreas Johansson was the playmaker in the formation.

Deportivo took the initiative since the kick-off, the expected thing since the Galicians were needing four goals to advance. The first approximation for the home side came at minute 4; it was a long-range shot of Antonio Tom??s that went wide. But four minute later, AaB sent the first warning proving that it’s presence at the Riazor was not reserved to defend the aggregate score. The play was taken by Shelton, who had a one-to-one encounter with Aranzubia, but Colotto saved the final shot from the goal line.

Then, Bodipo, who was not at 100% fit for the game, started to face some problems and he had to be replaced. Omar Bravo entered for him. The Mexican is at the door out to Tigres, but Lotina had to use him since he was the only striker available for the match. Three minutes later the ex-Chivas marksman scored a goal after a good pass from Valer??n, but it was disallowed due to an inexistent offside.

Depor’s next attempt came at the 17th minute; it was a long-distance shot of Lafita that passed near the post. Four minutes later, De Guzm??n sent a cross from the right and into the path of Omar Bravo, but the Mexican headed the ball over the crossbar.  In the next play Filipe Luis fired from close range and visiting keeper Zaza made the save.

The script of the ?movie’ was the expected one: AaB was holding at the back zone waiting for a counterattack, but it was hardly keeping the scoreless draw due the enormous pressure put by Deportivo.  Antonio Tom??s and Sergio were commanding midfield without too much opposition, but the Galician squad was missing some sparkle and the needed last pass to score the first goal.

Canadian De Guzm??n was the next one that enjoyed of a chance, and again Zaza appeared to make the save (35’). The pressure of the home team begun to vanish with the pass of the minutes and it seemed the Danish side was now having a much more tranquil game, but then Sergio came out to score the first goal of the night with a shot from long-range. The Catalan received the ball from Valer??n in midfield, and eluded a couple of rivals before releasing a shot that Zaza couldn’t clear with his leg and that hit the post before going to the back of the net.

Suddenly the hopes were rising as people were standing at their feet at the Riazor, but then the 'wishful thinking' ended in a matter of five minutes. First Luton Shelton tied the things for the visitors in a lack of concentration from Depor. Lafita fouled Johansson in midfield, and the resulting free-kick was taken by Due, the high pass was deflected inside the box by the same Johansson and the Jamaican just had to push it in.

But the worse was yet to come, because the Danes replied with two goals in a matter of two minutes.  However those goals came in the middle of the polemic, because referee didn’t whistle a clear penalty over De Guzm??n at minute 42, then  the Irish official didn’t whistle a clear offside of the visitors, and the play ended in a corner-kick that Due sent to the path of Andreas Johansson, then the Swedish playmaker scored the second goal for AaB with a powerful header. And just one minute later, when Depor’s players were still asking what was going on, Jamaican Shelton entered to the area by the right side and although Aranzubia saved his low shot, Thomas Enevoldsen was in the right place to volley the ball into an unguarded net.

Bang! Riazor was stunned at half-time, nobody could believe how the visitors have decided the tie in the final five minutes, especially after Deportivo was clearly the superior side in the rest of the first half. Over the grass, the anxiety of Depor’s players, plus a couple of errors from the referees, was killing a game that was already defined in the first-leg.

Lotina introduced Pablo ?lvarez in the place of De Guzm??n since the start, the move kept the 5-2-2-1 figure on, and the intention was to give more depth to the attacks by the right. Something that didn’t work out, mainly because Depor was a completely defeated team during the final part of the game. The half started as the first one: with Depor having the initiative and some chances to score. But the true is that Depor’s player already gave the result as granted, while the Danes seemed relaxed and confident.

Deportivo only enjoyed of two opportunities to score within the first twenty five minutes, the first one was a free-kick of Filipe that went close to the goal (51’), and the other came two minutes later as Omar Bravo missed the target from close-range.

Since that point, the game turned into a ?friendly’ encounter in which both sides started to rest their players. Lotina even gave entry to Juanan, this in order to rest Filipe during the final twenty minutes.  It is the third official game for the Fabril’s central defender, and his third appearance in Europe after playing the two legs in Intertoto.

Depor was not able to search for Zaza’s goal until minute 82. This time it was Lafita who released a long-distance shot that went out. A thing to emphasise is that the public at the Riazor continued supporting the players no matter the ?catastrophic’ aggregate score.

Then Sergio and Lafita took three straight corner-kicks for Depor, and in the counterattack of the third one, Pablo ?lvarez fouled Due and ?The Shark’ was sent off, because he already had a yellow card for a previous foul. Anders Due made again a great game, always creating troubles against Depor’s defense, the winger scored two goals in the first-leg and now he gave one assist and as he participated in the play of the first goal.

A very strange and bizarre spectacle was witnessed at the Riazor. Depor was the better side during forty minutes, it pushed strongly and scored one goal though it deserved more. But in the final five minutes of the first half, AaB found three chances as they seized the impotence and desperation of a side that was accelerated since the beginning. The second part was a gift for Depor’s supporters, public that was always at the side of its team.

Lotina tried to return to the 5-2-2-1 scheme, but this time it wasn’t worthy, two of the goals came in set-pieces while the other came in a quick play just when Depor was astonished by the result. It’s also true the referee affected the result as he disallowed a legal goal to Omar Bravo, also as he didn’t whistle a penalty over Piscu and after he didn’t invalidated a play for the visitors for a clear offside, play that later ended with the second goal from AaB, but it’s also true the Danes are deserving the pass as they were practical and materialized their chances. To mention also that Omar Bravo said good-bye to the fans throwing his shirt to the public, the Mexican is now on his way to Tigres de Monterrey.

This is the first win for AaB in Spain, and the result is breaking a streak for Deportivo of nine European matches at the Riazor without been defeated. Now the Danes will meet Manchester City FC in the next round. For Depor, the season is now reduced to dispute la liga and fight for a European spot until the end. On Sunday, the squad travel to Soria in order to face Numancia (17h00 CET).

Deportivo: Aranzubia – De Guzm??n (Pablo ?lvarez 46’), Piscu, Colotto, Z? Castro, Filipe (Juanan 69’) - Antonio Tom??s, Sergio - Lafita, Valer??n – Bodipo (Omar Bravo 9’).
Aalborg: Zaza - Bogelund, Beauchamp, W?hler (Lasse Nielsen 53’), Jakobsen – Augustinussen, Enevoldsen  (Risg??rd 77’) - Due, Johansson, Caca – Shelton (Curth 56’).
Goals: 1-0 (38’) Sergio, 1-1: (41’) Shelton, 1-2: (45’) Johansson, 1-3: (45+1’) Enevoldsen.
Referee: Alan Kelly (IRL). He showed yellow card to Jakobsen (25’), Curth (64’) and Piscu (86’). Pablo ?lvarez was sent of with two yellow cards (75’ and 90+2’)
Venue: Riazor (20,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (48% - 52%); Total shots (10 - 5); Shots on target (4 - 4); Saves by the keepers (0 - 3); Corner-kicks (9 - 4); Offsides (2 - 1); Fouls committed (12 - 15).



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