Squad news


06 Jan 2011
A miracle of the Magic Kings; it could be the strange headline on the papers. But it’s that Depor and Córdoba played 85 boring minutes, that later turned into pure excitement as Adrian plus ‘Magic King’ Valerón led to a reaction that started at minute 90.

The novelties in the list of picked players were the absences of left-back Rindarøy and striker Lassad, and their spots were covered with Diego Seoane and Adrian. As it was expected Fabril’s attacker Dioni was a starter, same thing as Diego Colotto; the starting lineup was still a 5-2-2-1 scheme.

Manu was at the goal; Laure played at the right-back position, Claudio Morel was at the left sector, while the three central defenders were Colotto, Ze Castro and Rochela. At midfield there was a diamond figure on the pitch, Antonio Tomas was the pick closer to the defensive line, Juan Rodriguez was performing towards the right wing, Pablo Álvarez did it on the left, while Valerón was performing almost like a second striker, finally Dioni was the central attacker.

At Córdoba, coach Lucas Alcaraz was presenting the expected scheme, with Diaz de Cerio and Charles as the main hopes in order to achieved the needed goals. Perhaps the big surprise was that Juanmi Callejon -the twin brother of the striker at RCD Espanyol- was out of the starting squad, and his place on the right wing was covered by Javi Flores, who shined in this game.

To mention that the club made an effort and declared the game as the “day for the family”, which meant that the socios had the right to pick a free-ticket for one kid, plus get two extra tickets for the price of five Euros. Still, only 5,000 fans were at the stadium, mainly because Thursday was the day for the Magic Kings and there were a lot of events on Wednesday’s night.

Boring first half between two teams that seemed to have clear ideas on how to move the ball, but not it wasn’t enough to create danger at both areas. And it’s that Depor was moving the ball at ease, but it barely created danger within the first forty-five minutes, while the visitors looked dangerous with its quick attacks, but it only reached Manu through set-pieces.

The first attempt to score was for Depor; it occurred at the 5th minute as Valerón assisted Morel on the left sector, the Paraguayan tried to send a cross but it turned into a shot on goal that was cleared by visiting keeper Alberto García, two minutes later Dioni appeared to release a shot from long-range that missed the target. Fabril’s attacker was moving with intelligence on the pitch, but it never had a clear chance to score.

Depor was controlling the actions in this start of game, with Valerón guiding his team as Cordoba seemed to be locked at defense and trying to cause some damage through a counterattack. But the Andalusians were only dangerous through set-pieces, in this way it occurred their biggest chance in this half. It came after a corner-kick (16’), Javi Flores sent a volley into the box and Charles jumped to release a downward header that went directly into the bottom corner of Manu’s far post, then the ball hit Rochela and went directly into the crossbar, and finally Manu cleared the danger at the goal line.

Since this moment the game was open for both sides, Depor was insisting through fast and short passes at midfield, which helped to surpass the mark put by the visitors, but the Galicians were missing to create a clear scoring attempt. Meanwhile, Córdoba was trying to push in attack, but it only reached the goal of Manu through set-pieces. To emphasize the good game of Javi Flores, the only player at the visiting team capable of making interesting passes.

Despite missing to create scoring opportunities, Lotina’s team was feeling comfortable in attack, with Valerón directing the traffic of the ball, while Pablo Alvarez and Laure were pretty active on the right sector, same thing than Morel on the left. But the problem was that each time that Depor lost the ball at midfield the defensive line had huge problems to fill up the gaps on the pitch, which gave a sense of danger each that that Córdoba was releasing a quick attack.

Since Depor was missing depth in attack, the team started to try with long-range attempts. At minute 36 Juan Rodriguez attempted with a long-range shot that missed the target, one minute later it was Pablo Alvarez, but this time Alberto stopped the drilling shot of the winger.

The biggest chance for Depor in this half came at minute 43, Juan Rodriguez found the ball inside the area, and released a strong shot that Alberto cleared to corner-kick; that was the third attempt from the ex-Malaga midfielder in the half.

Boring second part that was just exciting within the final five minutes; and it’s that Depor lacked more ambition to search for the victory against a rival that was full of will, but that was too innocent in attack and soft at defense.  Four minutes before the end a lack of concentration almost cost the pass to quarterfinals, and only the entry of Adrian plus the guidance of Valerón allowed the miracle of the equalizer, without forgetting the silly penalty committed by Jonathan Sesma at minute 89.

Things didn’t change at the start of the second part; Depor was trying to have the initiative and it moved the ball with ease thanks to Valerón, but was still missing punch in attack, while Cordoba was looking dangerous with its quick counterattacks, but it always missed to complete the last pass, reason why there weren’t scoring opportunities within the first ten minutes.

The first attempt to score in the half came at minute 55, it was a play between Valerón and Pablo Alvarez that ended with a cross of Laure coming from the right, then ‘The Shark’ headed the ball at the near post and later Dioni found the ball at the box, but his attempt went wide The visitors reacted with a header of Arteaga that went over the crossbar.

Lotina didn’t see things clear and decided to replace Dioni with Adrian; Fabril’s attacker was trying to move according to the orders of the coach, but he wasn’t a reference in attack, while the Asturian was going to be a decisive factor in the game. At minute 61, Depor was close to score in a corner-kick that didn’t find anybody at the far post, and the play ended with Juan Rodriguez sending the ball over the crossbar from the edge of the area.

Alcaraz tried to impulse the game of his team with the entries of Jonathan Sesma and Pepe Diaz, while Lotina sent Desmarets to replace Pablo Álvarez, but the picture was still the same, because both teams were still failing to create a clear goal opportunity. Depor seemed to be content with the 0-0 score and it started to spend more time at it’s own area.

A clear chance for Córdoba came at minute 73, Pepe Diaz found the ball at midfield and ran 20 meters to release a shot that hit Colotto and that later went close to the top-left corner of Manu.  And the biggest chance for Depor came at minute 76, Valerón found the ball at midfield and quickly drilled a pass between two defenders that left Adrian alone against the keeper, but the Asturian striker lost the ball in the last stretch of the field. This scene was going to be repeated in the extra-time with a different result.

Five minutes before the end Morel was replaced by Seoane, the Paraguayan was exhausted and that’s why Lotina ordered this last change. The game seemed to be condemned to a boring 0-0, but somehow all the excitement missed through the first 85 minutes appeared in the last stretch of the game.

First Cordoba surprised everybody scoring a great goal after Depor’s defensive line had a lack of concentration; Pepe Diaz drilled a pass from the right wing, Sesma left the ball pass and nobody cut it until David Pérez Arteaga found it inside the area to score the goal with a strong shot that went into the roof of the net. Four minutes were remaining and it seemed that Depor was eliminated, but somehow the Galicians managed to be a ‘hurricane’ within the last two minutes, plus the stoppage time.

First Valerón found the ball at the edge of the area and his drilling shot hit the far post of Alberto, then Seoane sent a cross from the left and Jonathan Sesma committed the huge mistake of handling the ball when he tried to head it, referee Álvarez Izquierdo whistled the penalty and Adrian came to equalize the things from the penalty spot. In the stoppage time Valerón was running into the goal and defender Miguel Ángel Tena tackled him from behind. He was sent off and the game went to extra-time.

Córdoba was defeated since the beginning of the extra-times; the Andalusians made a brave effort and saw themselves qualified with that late goal, but everything changed in a matter of seconds as they allowed a silly penalty and then as they were left with ten men on the pitch. The true is that things didn’t change compared to the scenery witnessed during big part of the game, because Depor was still having the initiative, but was missing more aim. Only the guidance of Valerón plus the good form of Adrian allowed the final victory.

At minute 98, a good combination between Adrian and Valerón ended with an attempt to score for Seoane, but the youngster missed the target. But the combination Valerón-Adrian wasn´t over as these two men appeared to create the second goal of the Galicians. Again Valerón drilled a pass between Cordoba’s defenders and it left Adrian alone against the keeper, and this time the Asturian attacker scored through a crossed shot.

At minute 108, Juan Rodriguez was close to score, the Andalusian attempted from one corner of the area, but Alberto stopped the attempt, two minutes later Colotto found the ball at the area after a corner-kick, but he missed the target. The Argentine was alone against the goal.

Córdoba tried to make an effort within the final five minutes, but the visitors were exhausted and didn’t have any clear attempt. And it was Depor the side that defined the things, Valerón attempted to score from the box, his shot was blocked and then Seoane was looking for the rebound, but keeper Alberto fouled him and again a penalty was whistled. And again Adrian came to score the goal from the penalty spot; it is his first hat-trick in an official match with Depor and his fifth goal within the last two official games of the team.

It was close, but Depor bordered the elimination to clinch the pass to quarterfinals in a game that was condemned to disaster.  The Galicians missed more will in attack and were close to pay the price thanks to a late goal of Cordoba, but Adrian came out from the bench to score a hat-trick which, together with Valerón, is giving an extra-life to Depor on this competition.

Now Deportivo will face UD Almeria or RCD Mallorca on the quarterfinals, on Thursday both teams will decide the winner of a series in which the Majorcans are losing with a 3-4 aggregate score and now they play at home. The first-leg in quarterfinals will be played on next Tuesday or Wednesday, but before Depor has to face the mighty Barcelona FC for la liga (Saturday, Riazor, 22h00 CET).

Deportivo: (5-2-2-1) Manu - Laure, Colotto, Rochela, Zé Castro,  Morel (Seoane 85’) – Antonio Tomás, Juan Rodríguez - Pablo Álvarez (Desmarets 68’), Valerón – Dioni (Adrian 59’).
Córdoba CF: (4-4-2) Alberto - De Coz, Agus (Juanmi Callejón 80’), Tena, Fernandez  - Javi Flores (Pepe Diaz 63’), Usero, Beobide, Arteaga – Charles, De Cerio (Sesma 63’).
Goals: 0-1 (86’) Arteaga, 1-1: (90’) Adrian (penalty), 2-1: (101’) Adrian, 3-1: (120’) penalty.
Referee: Alfonso Javier Álvarez Izquierdo. He showed yellow card to Morel (15’), Charles (17’), Rochela (19’), Juan Rodriguez (23’), Antonio Tomás (53’), Agus (80’), Sesma (88’), Callejón (89’) and Fernandez (95’). Tena was sent off (90+2’)
Venue: Riazor (5,000)
Other statistics: Ball possession (59% - 41%); Total shots (24 - 9); Shots on target (6 - 3); Saves by the keepers (2 - 3); Corner-kicks  (12 - 5); Offsides (2 - 4); Fouls committed (16 - 16); Accuracy in the passes (89.83% - 83.24%)



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