Thursday, February 14, 2013
Spain February 2013
A three game weekend in Spain travelling from Madrid to Valencia and returning to the capital for two Sunday fixtures.
Isco kid double.
9th February 2013 Levante 1 Malaga 2 Primera Liga 14,684 (c.100 away)
I arrived after a flight from London and a, at times, 300km/hour train ride from Madrid to Valencia.
Where there was a feeling of the end of winter as the daylight stretched to nearly 7pm.
The locals strolled around the centre, in particular the impressive cathedral area and the protestors reminded everyone of the current political situation.
The stadium is a forty minute walk from the centre of the city and as is typical it reflects the club (red/blue) colours.
Looking at the teams Malaga had the ‘names’ e.g. Isco, Baptista, Toulalan, Saviola and Demichelis.
And it was the first mentioned who would make the difference, scoring from a (dubious) penalty and again from the edge of the area when given too much space.
Levante had taken the lead from Barkero’s penalty on 25 minutes after the lively Obafemi Martins had been knocked down. But they were second best for most of the match.
It needed a brisk walk back to warm-up, helped by some vino whilst watching the later games on TV.
Goalless in Fuenlabrada.
10th February Fuenlabrada 0 Alcala 0 Segunda B c.300
Having taken the morning train from Valencia to Madrid I had just enough time to get to Fuenlabrada, via the metro, for this midday kick-off.
In difficult windy conditions on a lively pitch the most notable events in this game were the sending off of an Alcala player after about 17 minutes and two late chances for each side.
The visitors played well with ten men and should have scored when their no.10 was clear from a breakaway in the second period but he delayed too long.
And in added time the Fuenlabrada striker badly mishit a cross when near goal.
So it stayed goalless.
Juli and Camille are hot but Andy Pando doesn’t appear.
10th February Alcorcon 3 Las Palmas 1 Segunda Liga 2,000 (c.100 away)
A bitterly cold ‘3-dog night’ (for me a five-layer night including two woolly hats, two pairs of socks and thermals) enlivened by a dynamic performance from the home side and an outstanding ‘gangnam style’ dance by a ballboy at half-time.
Alcorcon look a force, certainly at home, as they went hard at the visitors, who for the most part couldn’t handle the pace of the attacks.
Initially Las Palmas had more play and the lightning quick Thievy was a constant threat.
But the match turned on 26 minutes as the excellent Juli finished off a move down the right and that was followed by Oriol scoring when given far too much time just before half time.
A third converted from the near post by Fernando Sales sealed the victory.
The visitors did get a late consolation from sub. Chrisantus after good work by Thievy but this win moved Alcorcon up to third in the second division.
The stadium, in a unspectacular southern suburb of Madrid, is compact with mostly open seating (not so good on a rainy night) painted in the club’s yellow colours.
Some 100 or so supported Las Palmas though I guess most would be Madrid based.
Particularly for older viewers the endearingly named Andy Pando sadly didn’t make an appearance.
more pictures at http://www.photobox.co.uk/album/1763511888