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REVIEW: DEPORTIVO 1 – SPORTING 1 (LIGA)

17 Feb 2014
Miracle at the Riazor. A soulless Depor were at the mercy of Sporting for 80 minutes; the Galicians missed a penalty and only completed its two shots on target within the final 5 minutes. The last-minute goal of Toché saved a point.

BEFORE THE GAME
A novelty in the lineup of coach Fernando Vázquez. Luisinho was performing as a left-back defender, which opened a spot for Antonio Núñez, who performed at the right wing. It was a 4-2-3-1 figure, with Fabricio Agosto at the goal, Laure played at the right side of the defense, while the centre-backs were Pablo Insua and Carlos Marchena.

Álex Bergantiños was the chosen one to join Juan Dominguez at midfield. Diogo Salomão moved his position to the left wing, Bryan Rabello was the playmaker and Borja Bastón was the central attacker.

At Sporting Gijón, coach José Ramon Sandoval  presented the expected 4-5-1formation.  Alberto Lora was the only novelty compared to the team of the previous weekend. Carlos Carmona and Stefan Šćepović were the references up front, while Dejan Lekić was on the bench.

Around 7,000 Sporting’s fans visited A Coruña during the weekend without major incidents. Still, La Voz de Galicia reported incidents between the Riazor Blues and the Ultra Boys. One person was hurt and four were arrested. The Riazor had its best attendance of the season.

FIRST HALF
Poor presentation of Deportivo in the first part. The Galician outfit was unable to complete a shot on target and looked too nervous for the occasion. What occurred within minutes 25 & 30 just ended mining the remaining of the players’ spirit as they conceded a new goal in a corner-kick and later Borja Bastón wasted a penalty.

It was a moved start, with both sides trying to have the initiative and the ball possession, though it happened what usually happens in these high-expected meetings: boring game and almost zero scoring chances. And it’s that there was only one shot on goal in the first half –only three on the whole match-

Deportivo were looking to thick and at the same time flat up front. There was a double mark over Núñez and Salomão and the Galicians had problems to penetrate by the wings. Luisinho was blocked by Lora and Rabello was missing in action.

The first approximation of Depor came at minute 15; Rabello released a lateral free-kick at the left wing that Insua couldn’t head at the far post.  Two minutes later Salomão made a solo-play inside the area, but his shot was deflected to corner-kick.

With the passage of the minutes Depor turned to be the side having the ball possession, while Sporting were playing on counterattacks. Both sides missed accuracy to create scoring chances. The first approximation for the Asturians was a wide header of Šćepović (20’).

And then Depor conceded the usual goal after a corner-kick. The cross from the left turned into a secondary play in which Sergio Álvarez released a short and drilling cross that went into the path of defender Bernardo Espinosa, the Colombian was left alone inside the area and ended scoring the goal with a low shot past Fabricio. It’s the third straight game in which Los Blanquiazules allow a goal after a corner.

Just four minutes later the Galicians had the big chance to tie the game. Rabello released a cross from the left and the ball hit the hand of defender Bernardo, who wasn’t sent off despite having a previous yellow card. Referee José María Sánchez whistled the penalty, but Borja Bastón didn’t seize the chance as his drilling attempt missed the target.

In just four minutes Deportivo suffered two big blows and the players felt it, because they lacked concentration within the final fifteen minutes and were unable to create any opportunity before a rival that was content with the result. There were no more scoring opportunities, just a clearance of visiting goalie Iván Cuéllar that hit Borja Bastón and then the ball went out (36’).

SECOND HALF
The mental block of Depor continued in the second part. The Galicians were a crippled team that only reacted until the final ten minutes. Vázquez made the same desperate changes of the past game and it was a miracle to witness the goal arriving with the last play.

Depor started strongly on this half, after three minutes Salomão missed a big opportunity after a bad clearance of Sporting’s defense. The Portuguese winger was alone at the edge of the area, but his final shot went over the crossbar. At minute 50, the locals wasted a lateral free-kick action, again with Salomão as the protagonist of the play.

The second part turned to be more entertaining. Depor were constantly pushing, while Sporting were finding the cracks to release quick counterattacks. Despite the initial impulse, the locals were still facing the same problems at the moment of creating scoring opportunities.

In this way Fernando Vázquez ordered the changes and also switched the draw. Toché entered for a disappeared Rabello. Depor started to play with a 4-4-2 figure, later Lopo replaced Núñez and the draw was a 3-5-2. The later substitution moved Salomão to the right wing and Luisinho was performing on the left. The Galicians were playing with three centre-backs

But Depor were dead and was unable to create any danger. The next chance to score came after another error of the visitor’s defense. A cross was poorly cleared by Mandi and the ball went into the path of Toché, but he sent the ball out (64’). Salomão was dragging a muscle problem and with him Depor’s ideas were falling down.

Sporting were just a patient rival that was waiting to witness the charge of Deportivo, but that charge never came as the Blanquiazul outfit was a soulless team that was doing nothing. The Asturians even scored a goal after a counterattack of Šćepović, but it was invalidated due to an inexistent offside (71’).

The final change for Depor came in the final frame of the match, Luis Fernández replaced Borja Bastón. It was then that the local team woke up and completed its only two shots on target in the game. Firstly Juan Dominguez completed a drilling attempt that was too easy for Cuéllar (86’). Substitute Hugo Fraile had two chances for Sporting, but he never ended the plays properly and somehow the Galicians got the draw in the last play, ironically it was a corner-kick.

Depor earned a direct free-kick at the edge of the area, Toché smashed the ball in the wall and got a corner-kick. Salomão released the cross from the left and the ball was touched by Fabricio, Marchena and Toché to end at the back of the net. The referee gave the goal to Toché as it was him who headed the ball at the penalty spot.

AFTER THE GAME
Drama at the Riazor. Deportivo La Coruña played a poor match, but somehow rescued a point with a goal scored in the added time. The Galicians allowed a new goal in a corner-kick and Borja Bastón missed a penalty. Only three shots on goal in the game, two of them by Depor within the final five minutes. The equalizer awoke the memories of Aranzubia’s goal, though it was given to Toché as he touched the ball before Fabricio.

The point allows Depor to remain in direct promotion, at least until the game of Recreativo de Huelva takes place. The distance between the Galicians and Asturians continues to be of one point. On next Sunday, Depor travel to Madrid in order to face AD Alcorcón (Santo Domingo, 12h00 CET).

MATCH STATISTICS
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Fabricio – Laure, Insua, Marchena, Luisinho – Álex Bergantiños, Juan Domínguez – Núñez (Lopo 65’), Rabello (Toché 56’), Salomão – Borja Bastón (Luis Fernández 82’).
Sporting: (4-5-1) Cuéllar - Luis Hernández, Mandi, Bernardo, Canella - Lora, Sergio Álvarez, Cases, Barrera (Santi Jara 75’), Šćepović (Lekić 82’) – Carmona (Hugo Fraile 64’).
Goals: 0-1: (25’) Bernardo, 1-1: (90+5’) Toché.
Referee: José María Sánchez Martínez. He showed yellow card to Bernardo (16’), Marchena (23’), Núñez (57’), Cuellar (66’), Nacho Cases (87’) and Hugo Fraile (88’).
Venue: Riazor (26,532)
Other statistics: Ball possession (67% - 33%); Attempts to score (4 – 5); Total shots (9 - 9); Shots on target (2 - 1); Saves by the keepers (0 - 1); Corner-kicks (7 - 5); Offsides (0 - 7); Fouls committed (12 - 23); Passing accuracy (89.01% - 79.58%)

* RESULTS & STANDINGS

ARCHIVE NEWS FEB/14

ZAPPING

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