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REVIEW: DEPORTIVO 0 (5) - CELTA 0 (6) (COPA GALICIA)

20 May 2008
Deportivo couldn't conquer the copa Galicia after Lotina's team fell down at O Couto (Ourense) in the penalty shoot-out. Filipe Luis failed his shot while Galician youngster Dani Abalo decided the game for Celta. It was a good match in the first half, but it lost the pace in the second part, mainly for the several substitutions made in both teams.

BEFORE THE GAME
Sad scene at O Couto, the stadium was almost empty and both teams were facing the match with several substitutes in the line-ups. Neither of Celta's players that destroyed C??diz on the past weekend (5-2) were in the starting eleven. In fact, Celta B's central defender Noel Alonso was an starter. The main reference up front was Yiannis Okkas, the Greek had scored six goals in Segunda on this season.

At Deportivo, only side defenders Manuel Pablo and Filipe Luis were repeating their role in the starting squad compared to the one that lost with Villarreal on the past Sunday. Lotina chose a 4-2-3-1 formation with Fabril's Chapi and Adri??n L??pez 'Piscu' performing on the centre of the defence and with Valer??n the playmaking function. Juan Rodr?guez and Antonio Tom??s played in midfield, Cristian on the right wing, Guardado on the left and Riki as the lonely striker.

THE MATCH
The first ten minutes were dominated by Celta. Depor started the actions holding on its area and it was Celta who had the first two chances to score. First Fernando Sales sent a cross to Okkas's path and the Greek shot on target, but the ball was stopped by Fabricio (2'). Five minutes later, the same Okkas took a free-kick that Fabril's keeper contained without problems.

Deportivo's first approximation arrived until the eleventh minute. Riki started the play in midfield and then Filipe Luis sent a cross from the left wing and into Cristian's path, the Catalan entered to the penalty zone and attempted with a volley that went wide. Later, Riki tested with a mid-distance shot that keeper Lu?s Garc?a stopped (13').

The game turned to be exciting, with both teams attacking, especially Celta. Vigo's team had a clear chance after a play build between Fernando Sales and Mario Su??rez, but once again Fabricio saved Deportivo after the Canarian keeper sent to corner-kick the dangerous shot of the midfielder.

And Fabricio turned to be the best man for Deportivo, at least during the first half, the youngster made four saves in the first twenty five minutes. One of the most dangerous attempts was made by Guayre at minute 23. Meanwhile, Depor was speculating with counterattacks and set-pieces. One of the most clear chances arrived at the 27th minute, Guardado took a corner-kick and keeper Luis Garc?a and his defenders had big troubles to clear the ball in the goal line.

Deportivo was needing the pause of Valer??n, and the Canarian playmaker appeared until the minute 30. A great pass of him was sent to Riki's path, but the Madrilenian attacker failed to score after he faced Lu?s Garc?a in a one-to-one play. The pace of the first half was broken for a series of fights between Okkas, Manuel Pablo and Juan Rodr?guez. At the end, Celta's attacker was booked.

For the second half, Lotina ordered a double change: Taborda and Verd?? entered for Riki and Guardado. The modifications only refreshed the attacking zone and Deportivo continued playing with a 4-2-3-q line-up. In Celta, a similar thing occurred, because coach Antonio Men?ndez replaced Jorge Larena with Diego Costa. The first 5 minutes were peaceful as both teams were stuck in midfield.

And things started to shake after both teams had a chance to score within a period of two minutes. Verd?? had the first clear chance of the second part at minute 51, it was a solo-effort that ended with a shot from mid-distance stopped by Lu?s Garc?a. One minute later, Mario Su??rez faced Fabricio one-on-one but his final shot went out.

Later, Lotina continued with the modifications, Valer??n and Chapi left the pitch while Lafita and Marcos Caridad entered. This last one is a central defender currently performing at Juvenil A. The changes broke the pace of the game and the next attempt to score arrived until minute 67, this time it was for Celta. Mario Su??rez took a free-kick after a foul of Marcos Caridad and Lafita cleared the ball to a corner-kick from the barrier.

Deportivo was playing without ideas, Valer??n didn't appear in the second half and his replacement, Lafita, was having problems to move the ball. Therefore Lotina's team wasn't  having the control over the actions. Neither Celta did too much as Okkas disappeared in the second period. Goran Maric, the pichichi of Celta B and the best scorer in Segunda B, replaced him and he was near to score at the 78th minute, but Marcos Caridad saved Depor in the goal line.

Celta pushed in the last minutes, once again Maric was near to score after Adri??n L??pez committed a mistake in the centre of the defence -his only error in the whole game- but the final shot went out. The last chance for Deportivo was a free-kick taken by Filipe after a foul over Lafita, the ball was cleared by Celta's keeper. The match ended with both teams trying to attack but both defensive lines were wiser and stopped any attempt.

The game ended with a scoreless draw and it was necessary to reach the penalty shoot-out in order to define the winner. Both teams scored their five penalties and all was decided in the 'sudden death'. And it was Filipe Luis who failed after Luis Garc?a stopped his shot, later Galician youngster Dani Abalo scored the decisive goal that gave the title to Celta.

MATCH STATISTICS
Deportivo: Fabricio - Manuel Pablo, Chapi (Marcos Caridad 49'), Adri??n L??pez, Filipe - Juan Rodr?guez, Antonio Tom??s  -Cristian, Valer??n (Lafita 49'), Guardado (Verd?? 46') - Riki (Taborda 46').
Celta: Lu?s Garc?a - Julian Vara, Noel Alonso,  Rub?n G??nzalez, Jonathan Vila - Fernando Sales (Abalo 65'), Vitolo, Mario Su??rez, Guayre (Pepe Aicart 74')- Jorge Larena (Diego Costa 45'), Okkas (Maric 59')
Penalties: 1-0: Verd??, 1-1: Agus, 2-1: Taborda, 2-2: Mario Su??rez, 3-2: Cristian, 3-3: Vitolo, 4-3: Lafita, 4-4: Diego Costa, 5-4: Riki, 5-5: Goran Maric, 5-6: Dani Abalo. Filipe missed Depor's sixth penalty saved by Luis Garc?a.
Referee: Docabo Otero. He showed yellow card to Okkas (38'), Verd?? (71') and Goran Maric (83')
Venue: O Couto (2,500).

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