Nsue salvages point for Mallorca against Osasuna
Real Mallorca 1-1 Osasuna
La Liga, Jornada #25
Saturday 3rd March 2012, 5pm kick off GMT
Emilio Nsue rescued a draw for Real Mallorca on Saturday night to put a small dent in Osasuna’s hopes of a top-six finish in the Primera Division. The visitors set themselves on course for a rare away win with Alvaro Cejudo’s opener just before the interval. But Nsue replied midway through the second half to earn Mallorca a welcome point in their battle to pull clear of the relegation zone.
Cejudo gave Osasuna their first glimpse of goal after just four minutes with a 20-yard strike which fell wide of the left post. The home side responded with a shot from distance from Alejandro Alfaro which had to be punched clear by Andres Fernandez.
The visiting goalkeeper came to the rescue once more after 15 minutes, taking a safe catch as Victor looked to put the finishing touches to Jose Chico’s threatening cross. Francesco Nino then tried to give Osasuna the edge with a powerful left-footed shot from 25 yards but could only put the ball wide.
Mallorca came close after 37 minutes with a free-kick from Gonzalo Castro which swerved inches over the bar. And the visitors took advantage of the let-off on the stroke of half-time, with Cejudo planting a shot into the bottom left corner from the centre of the area.
Osasuna had won away only once all season and their defence clung on desperately as Mallorca searched for a route back into the match. And they succeeded after 71 minutes thanks to Nsue, who rose to meet an inswinging corner from Sergio Tejera before directing a header low into the net.
The hosts were in the ascendancy now and seemed determined to make the rest of the fixture as uncomfortable as possible for their opponents. Victor tried his luck from 20 yards with a right-footed shot which was blocked by Sergio Fernandez, before firing the follow-up over the bar. And the striker made it a hat-trick of misses two minutes from time, putting a header high of the mark after connecting with another corner from Tejera.
Caparrós admitted afterwards he was not 100 per cent happy with the draw and felt his team did not play to their maximum capacity. ‘We failed to up the tempo in the first half and Osasuna’s goal came about precisely for that reason,’ he explained. ‘In the second half we had more pace but lacked that bit of luck, but I was glad when Nsue’s goal went in.’
Opposite number José Luis Mendilibar was satisfied with the result and pointed out that to obtain at least a point is always important. ‘It was a good draw in a game with many fouls in midfield, without rhythm, and where it was not easy to play,’ he said. ‘Both sides played a lot of long balls but I can’t fault my players for effort.’
Real Mallorca (4-2-3-1): Aouate; Chico , Nunes, Ramis, Cáceres (Nsue 67′); Martí, Tissone (Tejera 45′); Pereira, Alfaro (Hemed 45′), Castro; Víctor.
Substitutes: Calatayud (gk); Martí Crespí; Nsue, Tejera; Ogunjimi, Hemed, Álvaro.
Goal: Nsue 70′.
Osasuna (4-2-3-1): Fernández; Bertrán, Sergio, Flaño, Damiá ; Lolo, Loe; Cejudo (Nekounam 89′), Raúl García, Lamah (Torres 72′); Nino (Timor 80′).
Substitutes: Riesgo (gk); Roversio, Raitala; Nekounam, Timor, Torres, Anunciatta.
Goal: Cejudo 45′.
Referee: Carlos Clos Gómez (ESP).
Stadium: Iberostar Estadi, Palma de Mallorca.