RCD Mallorca VS Athletic Club 11/8/2006 | Athletic Club’s Official Website

RCD Mallorca2 : 1Athletic Club

Ono Estadi
Palma de Mallorca
10:00 PM
Date and time
11/8/2006 - 10:00 PM

Mallorca 2 Athletic Club 1: Goodbye to the Copa

Athletic Club said goodbye to the Copa Championship after having been defeated by Mallorca by…

Nov 9, 2006

Athletic Club said goodbye to the Copa Championship after having been defeated by Mallorca by 2-1 in a two-faced affair, however, the outcome of the match wasn’t decided until extra time at the end of the encounter. Jankovic scored in the first half, Yeste in the second and Víctor in the first part of extra time. During the last two matches our team have shown a change in the stereotypical order of their matches i.e. a good performance in the first half and a bad one in the second.

Against Racing at San Mamés and in Palma de Majorca at the Ono Stadium the opposite occurred. A weak first half, worse in the Copa than in the League competition, and a better performance in the second including the extra time period. Unfortunately, to no avail in the Copa. Our players were unable to take advantage and finish off the match in the second half and hence extra time along with injury time was needed to end the stalemate. In the end our team succumbed to a rival team with only 10 players, however, our opponents had the drive to get the match back on the rails and in this aspect were better than Athletic.

Despite the incursions in rival territory made by Athletic during the first minutes of the match, Athletic got off on the wrong foot and lost possession of the ball many times. They posed no threat to our rivals who seemed happy enough to watch the clock tick on and they even had some seeming less effortless goal-scoring opportunities; especially Jankovic, who took a shot at goal which just missed in the 15th minute and, five minutes later the very same player was able to score the first goal of the match easily after having taken advantage of a throw in by Héctor. Things were going Mallorca’s way in the eliminatory but the goal didn’t dampen Athletic’s spirit because our team needed to score a goal in order to win the eliminatory round.

The first note-worthy opportunity came in the 25th minute when a Llorente header was caught by Moyà. During this period Athletic changed their field position for the first time: Etxeberria was sent to cover the right wing, Dañobeitia to the left and Iturriaga mid-field. Just for the sake of it we should mention two more goal-scoring opportunities had in the first half; both created by Mallorca, the first by Arango who with a header almost scored a goal against his own team in the 31st minute and a shot at goal by Piscu in the 36th minute, which was trapped by Lafuente.

It wasn’t a difficult task, but Athletic Club gave a better account of themselves in the second half. What’s more Mallorca only looked dangerous on one occasion during the entire second half. Our team starting changing things around. Urzaiz was sent in to replace Casas which meant that Murillo was sent to the right wing, Expósito to the left and Iturriaga to mid-field, with Etxeberria and Dañobeitia on the same wing just as they were prior to the half time interval. Up front Urzaiz teamed up with Llorente, who was even more ahead when it came to on field positioning.

Playing with the heart more than the head and converting each foul into an assault in the rival area, the host team’s confidence seemed to dwindle, Llorente had his first serious goal-scoring opportunity of the second half with a header in the 57th minute, and in the 61st minute Yeste stepped in for Dañobeitia, positioning himself somewhat behind Manzano’s team. The equalizing goal came when a controversial penalty in favour of Urzaiz was called by the referee, Yeste took the penalty kick, which was repelled by Moyà, but Yeste was able to convert the rebound into goal with his right. This was the start of a new match and Athletic drew strength from this and could of sealed the fate of the match but they were lacking in the accuracy department.

To start with, a shot at goal by Etxeberria was caught by Moyà in the 72nd minute, and in the 73rd Yeste made a great individual run that ended up with the ball sailing over the cross bar, in the 74th minute Athletic had the best goal-scoring opportunity of the night when Llorente, who was only two metres from the goal line received a volley from Etxeberria, but his shot at goal was deflected by Moyà, what’s more in the 76th minute it was Sarriegi’s turn but his kick went out after having been struck from inside the goal area.

Mallorca came out lively for the extra time period and Iraola was sent in to replace Etxeberria. Nevertheless, it was Athletic who was about to create the best opportunity of the extra time period. A pass to the centre by Iraola from the left was finished off by Urzaiz, but his header went way over the cross bar in the 92nd minute and only five minutes later Jankovic was sent off for the remarks made by the player to one of the linesmen.

It seemed to be just a matter of time before things would turn our way and one could sense that the locals were looking for penalties, Mallorca came out strong and despite only having ten players, drew strength from God knows where, just like Racing did last Sunday at San Mamés. Now it was Mallorca’s turn to apply the pressure and only two minutes into extra time Victor took a shot at goal which missed. Victor had been sent in to replace Piscu in the 78th minute, and in minute 101 of the game a Victor header found the back of the net after having intercepted another header by Pereyra, who in turn used Ustaritz as a ladder. All of which came about as a result of a silly corner kick.

The match started off badly, our team got back on track, they wasted a lot of goal-scoring opportunities and just when it seemed we were in control of the match the rivals go and score the match winning goal. There was still nineteen minutes left but Athletic weren’t able to create any clear opportunities until minute 113 of the game, but Nunes’s arm stopped an Urzaiz header from reaching its mark. A second penalty would have been politically incorrect in light of the match and in the end the outcome was similar to the beginning: bad.

We have no choice but to try to boost player moral and offer a better image in the League or offer a worse image and achieve better results.