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REVIEW: GALICIA 3 - URUGUAY 2

29 Dec 2005
Historical 3-2 victory for Galicia in their first game in almost 70 years. Galicia clearly dominated Uruguay in a vibrant and intense match in front of an enthusiastic crowd. The Uruguayans only managed to score once Galicia relaxed in the dying moments of the game.

An extra dose of symbolism was embedding this match. There were festivities organized before and after the game, and for sure it was a huge celebration for those present at the packed San L??zaro Stadium. Players and coaches lived some emotional moments, as with the interpretation of the national anthems, where Galician coach Fernando V??zquez was seen crying. Indeed, the Uruguayan team did not anticipate this level of intensity and they eventually suffered from it. Unfortunately, captain Fran (ex-Depor) could not play due to injury. He had only decided so a few hours earlier. Nonetheless, Fran was sitting at the bench and joined in the celebrations.

Uruguay treated the game as a preparation for future official games. Coach Ferr?n wanted to test new players in order to gradually build up a renewed squad. However, Galicia were carried forward by the roaring crowd from the very start. Uruguay did not expect such passion in a friendly game, and soon they found themselves a goal down when Nano scored in the ninth minute. A moved Otero was replaced in the twentieth minute by M?chel Salgado as it was expected, this being the final farewell to captain Otero from active football.  The Galicians outplayed Uruguay for the most part of the first half, and they were unlucky not to score in several occasions. Midfielder Cabanas assumed his role of playmaker and natural leader and directed the Galician play superbly.

Galicia made plenty of changes during the game. Indeed, the line-up for the second half was completely different from the initial one. Only Deportivo keeper Dani Mallo and captain M?chel Salgado remained from the squad that ended the first half. That second half was a little bit more balanced, but Galicia remained in control nonetheless thanks to players such as Trashorras or former Depor midfielder Viqueira. Former Deportivo striker Deus scored in minutes 48 and 80. Galicia was 3-0 up and began to relax, wasting some good chances in the process. This was when Uruguay put some pressure on and managed to get one back in minute 83. Following a corner in the dying moments of the game a mistake in defence allowed for Uruguay’s second goal (90’). Actually, Galicia’s only evidence that they had never played together before could be perceived in defence, where they incurred in some unforced errors during the game.

It all ended 3-2. The Uruguayan coach was visibly discontented with his team’s performance and left the pitch while the Galician fans and players celebrated this overdue comeback. Players and coaches coincided in stating the special significance of this game, this ?party?, and how they were encouraged by the positive attitude of the public. All these factors surely inhibited Uruguay from developing their usual play. In any case, it certainly was a long night in the Galician capital.

MATCH STATISTICS
Galicia: Diego L??pez (Dani Mallo 35’, Roberto 61’), Xurxo Otero (M?chel Salgado 20’), Rub?n, Capi, Cabrejo, Borja, J??lio ?lvarez, Cabanas, Paulo ?lvarez, Nano, Losada.
Galicia presented a new line-up for the second half, including Noguerol, Dacosta, Viqueira, Iago Bouz??n, Corredoira, Trashorras, Juanito (I??natan Aspas 48’), Deus.
Uruguay: Carini, Carlos Valdez (Ezquerra 88’), Bod?n (Alb?n 45’), Pablo Lima, Pereira, Omar Pouso, Gustavo Varela, Gonzalo Castro (Garc?a 66’), Sarkyssian, Gonzalo Vargas (Gargano 83'), Sergio Blanco (Salgueiro 59’).
Goals: Nano 1-0 (9'), Deus 2-0 (48') and 3-0 (80'), Pereira 3-1 (83'), Alb?n 3-2 (+90').
Attendance: 12,100 at a packed San L??zaro Stadium (Santiago de Compostela).
Referee: Bernardino Gonz??lez showed one yellow card to Uruguayan player Pereira (44').

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