Squad news


22 Dec 2010
Deportivo closed the year 2010 in a bizarre way; it looked to be a rugby match and not a football encounter, but in the end the Galicians return to Galicia with an important goal in favour, though with two injury cases (Riki and Ze Castro).

The match was close to be suspended due to the heavy rain that fell in Córdoba since Monday’s night, but in the end the first-leg was disputed as the calendar in January is thigh enough to try to reschedule the game. The true is that the pitch was more like a pool rather than a football field; there were several lagoons on the field and it complicated the things to the players, especially in the second part.

In the end Lotina presented the expected squad on the pitch, though with the novelty of Ruben Perez playing for Juan Dominguez; Manuel Fernandez ‘Manu’ was at the goal; Laureano Sanabria ‘Laure’ was covering the right-back position; Seoane was on the left sector, while the line of three central defenders was composed by Lopo, Aythami and Ze Castro. Juan Rodriguez and Ruben Perez were performing at midfield; Yves Desmarets was the playmaker on the right wing, Lassad Nouioui was on the left and the central striker was Riki

At Córdoba, coach Lucas Alcaraz was presenting several novelties; starting with the fact that striker Diaz De Cerio was on the bench ; his place in attack was taken by Pepe Diaz, while the other reference in attack was ex-Pontevedra man Charles Días de Oliveira.

There was a big concern on the state of the pitch, but the true is that Depor had a tranquil first part; the Galicians found an early goal thanks to a penalty-kick and later spent the time holding at the back zone and at the same time trying to move the ball at midfield at ease. And it’s that the locals never created any danger against Manu.

Nothing important occurred within the first ten minutes; perhaps because both teams were still scanning the best sectors on the pitch to move the ball. Despite the conditions at El Arcángel stadium, Depor was trying to move the ball over the wet grass, something that was only possible at certain points of the field. Meanwhile, Córdoba was relying on long throws, which is their typical playing style at Segunda División.

The first approximation of Depor came at minute 13; it was a high cross of Laure that Riki headed downwards, but his crossed effort went out. And just two minutes later Depor was rewarded with a penalty; it was after a counterattack in which Laure assisted Lassad, then the Tunisian drilled the ball to Riki, who entered into the area, eluded a rival and was later fouled by local keeper Alberto. The Madrilenian came to score the first goal on the game from the penalty spot.

Córdoba responded with two straight corners, in the first one Manu missed to catch the ball, but the danger was cleared by the defensive line. The goal, however, didn’t change the script of the match as Depor was still trying to move the ball over the grass, while the locals were still betting in long passes that were too easy for Depor’s defensive sector.

The next scoring opportunity for Depor came at minute 28; it was a long-range shot of Juan Rodriguez after a pass of Riki and Alberto cleared to corner-kick. Then Lotina made the first substitution as Adrian entered for Riki, it seemed to be more a precaution measure due to the conditions of the pitch rather than an injury of the Madrilenian attacker, however later the club confirmed that the ex-Getafe man sustained a muscular contracture, which is a small problem compared to the previous muscular injuries suffered by him.

Meanwhile, Córdoba was trying to create some danger, but the Andalusians were unable to make a shot on target against Manu, though they were having the initiative. The true is that it was a placid half for Deportivo; the Galicians weren’t pressed at midfield and were still trying to reach the opposite goal through combinative plays, but were unable to have another scoring opportunity.

The half ended with the best opportunity for Córdoba in this half; it was after a foul of Seoane over Juanmi Callejón, the resulting free-kick of Jorge Luque was sent into the box, but Ex-Pontevedra man Charles headed the ball out after jumping for it at the penalty spot.

Deportivo had to change its playing style as the rain converted the pitch into a swimming pool; the Andalusians were the big winners as they were able to find the equalizer in a free-kick in which Manu failed. The true is that despite the weather conditions there were more scoring opportunities on this half, and it was a miracle that the scoresheet was just showing a 1-1- draw at minute 90.

The heavy rain returned for the second part and it seemed that it brought the scoring opportunities, because just seconds after the kick-off Córdoba had its first chance on this half, it was after a drilling pass in which Pepe Diaz surpassed Aythami, but the crossed shot of the striker missed the target. Depor responded with a counterattack led by Desmarets, then Adrian and Lassad combined to assist Juan Rodriguez, and the Andalusian missed the goal from close range (49’).

Then, at minute 52’, Desmarets attempted from long-distance after a short free-kick of Ruben Perez, but the attempt of the Frenchman went wide. Cordoba was looking more dangerous on this half, mainly on the side defended by Seoane and Ze Castro, sensation that was increased as the poor conditions of the pitch were favoring its style of playing.

At minute 60, Aythami headed a corner-kick inside of Cordoba’s area, but his effort hit a rival and went out. Then Pablo Álvarez entered for Lassad, but still Córdoba was still having the initiative on the match. Then Lotina had to make a new change as Ze Castro was hurt (adductor), his place at the centre of the defense was claimed by David Rochela.

Now Depor was having big problems to play, because the pitch was a swamp and it was impossible to move the ball over the grass, and suddenly the Andalusians found the equalizer. And it was a big error of Manu after a free-kick coming from the right; the cross was sent into the box by Jonathan Sesma, but instead of trying to catch the ball the Asturian keeper tried to clear the danger, but his clearance was too soft and ended at the chest of Pepe Diaz, who just had to push the ball from the box; Manu tried to clear the danger again at the goal line, but it was too late.

Depor reacted with Seoane attempting from long-range, but the defender missed the target (74’); the rain was so heavy at this point of the match that the TV cameras at the stadium failed and the transmission was cut for a few minutes, even the lines that were marking midfield territory were disappearing. However, both sides were able to find some clear scoring opportunities within the final ten minutes. At minute 81 Depor was close to score, it was in a corner-kick of Desmarets in which the same Frenchman found the rebound inside the area, and in the end Alberto made the save.

In the next play Aythami headed on goal a corner-kick, but the play was invalidated for a previous foul. And both teams had the big chance to pick up the victory in their last attack, first a long ball coming from Lopo left Adrian alone against Alberto, and as it happened in the last game against Sporting the Asturian missed the goal, though this time his drilling shot bet the keeper, but just passed close to the far post (89’). And in the final play of the match the locals missed a great chance as a pass of Pepe Diaz allowed Jonathan Sesma to attempt from the edge of the area, but the effort of the ex-Cadiz man hit the left corner of the crossbar.

Water polo, rugby… the game at El Arcángel can be described in many ways, and none of them is related to football. The pitch was somehow decent in the first part, but it was s swimming pool for the second. Depor was lucky to find an early goal, but later Manu failed and Cordoba found a deserved equalizer. Still, the Galicians had the advantage as their goal counts as double and as the second-leg will be played at the Riazor (January 6th).

Now Depor’s squad in on vacations and will return to train until December 28; in the first weekend of 2011 the Galicians must pay a visit to Athletic Bilbao playing for la liga, that match has been scheduled for Sunday January 2nd, 2011 (16h00 CET)., though the Spanish Player Association is trying to delay the matchday as there are pushing for a new collective contract with la liga.

Córdoba CF: (4-4-2) Alberto – Gerardo (Fernández 42’), Agus, Richy, Tena - Juanmi Callejón,  Aguilar, Jorge Luque (Oriol Riera 79’), Usero – Charles (Jonathan Sesma 59’), Pepe Díaz.
Deportivo: (5-2-2-1) Manu - Laure, Lopo, Aythami, Zé Castro (Rochela 67’), Seoane - Juan Rodríguez, Rubén Pérez - Desmarets, Lassad (Pablo Álvarez 59’) – Riki (Adrian 30’).
Goals: 0-1 (17’) Riki (penalty), 1-1 (69’) Pepe Diaz
Referee: José Luis Gonzalez Gonzalez. He showed yellow card to Alberto Garcia (16’), Rubén Pérez (39’), Agus (51’), Pepe Diaz (63’) and Seoane (69’)
Venue: El Arcángel (5,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (49% - 51%); Total shots (8 - 11); Shots on target (2 - 5); Saves by the keepers (4 - 1); Corner-kicks  (2 - 6); Offsides (4 - 1); Fouls committed (17 - 14); Accuracy in the passes (78.67% - 84.92%)



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