Víctor goal guarantees Mallorca’s safety
Real Mallorca 1-0 Real Zaragoza
La Liga, Jornada #34
Saturday 21st April 2012, 5pm kick off BST
A solitary first-half strike from Víctor Casadesús has guaranteed Real Mallorca La Liga football for the sixteenth consecutive season with four games to go. The result though is a body blow for Real Zaragoza who find themselves in real danger in 18th place.
Knowing that three points would secure their safety, Real Mallorca reduced the price of tickets to between €3 and €5. It didn’t make much difference, however, with the usual 11,000 fans turning up.
The Mallorca team walked out onto the pitch in t-shirts which said ‘Ánimo Álvaro’ in support of striker Álvaro Giménez. The 20-year-old has just returned to the island after spending 4 days in Barcelona undergoing surgery on a broken metatarsal.
The home side started well creating chances for themselves. And they were unfortunate to have a goal ruled out for offside. A Chori Castro corner was flicked on at the near post by Víctor. The ball fell at an inviting level for Chico to head home from three yards, but the linesman’s flag wrongly went up to rule the goal out.
Undeterred, Tomer Hemed, with his freshly shaved head, drove a shot at the corner of the goal forcing Roberto to pull of a strong one handed save. From the inswinging Chori Castro corner, Víctor beat Hemed and the defender to the ball to head home his eighth goal of the season to give Mallorca an all important 1-0 lead. The Spaniard then held a shirt baring the name of his team mate Álvaro.
Zaragoza weren’t without their chances, however. Their best of the half came from a dangerous inswinging Luis García free-kick. But the attackers couldn’t get the finishing touch to a menacing cross.
Into the second half, Real Mallorca pushed harder to put the game to bed. Chori Castro had a good chance on the end of a cross but his tame header flew wide. And another poor header, this time from Tomás Pina, squandered another good attacking opportunity for the home side.
But as the game grew older, you wondered whether Real Zaragoza were going to steal something as more and more chances fell their way with Aouate being tested on more than one occasion.
But the Aragonese side were furious with Álvarez Izquierdo’s decision not to award them a penalty when Hélder Postiga appeared to be pulled down in the area by Iván Ramis. Because luck is even harder to come by the further down the table you are, and this helped Mallorca see themselves to safety on 43 points.
‘There are players in the changing room crying because they know what it means to be in the first division,’ Caparrós said after the game. ‘Congratulations to everyone.’
It was a different story for Zaragoza who are now six points adrift of Villarreal and 17th place with just 4 games to go. ‘They beat us with very little, without coming close to our goal. Just through crosses and set pieces,’ Manolo Jiménez fumed. ‘We have no margin for error now.’
Real Mallorca (4-4-2): Aouate; Cendrós, Chico , Ramis, Cáceres ; Pereira, Martí, Pina , Castro (Nsue 78′); Víctor (Martí Crespí 90′), Hemed (Bigas 85′).
Substitutes: Calatayud (gk); Martí Crespí, Bigas; Tissone, Alfaro, Nsue; Abdón.
Goal: Víctor 34′.
Real Zaragoza (5-4-1): Roberto; Zuculini (Juan Carlos 80′), Lanzaro , Paredes, da Silva, Abraham ; Luis García (Barrera 68′), Dujmovic (Edu Oriol 55′), Apoño, Lafita; Postiga.
Substitutes: Leo Franco (gk); Mateos, Juan Carlos; Barrera, Edu Oriol; Ortí, Kevin.
Referee: Alfonso Álvarez Izquierdo (ESP)
Stadium: Iberostar Estadi, Palma de Mallorca