Competition news

REVIEW: ELCHE 0 – DEPORTIVO 2 (COPA FIRST-LEG)

29 Oct 2008
Comfortable victory for a Deportivo that erased the negative image of the past weekend, this time the squad was solid at defence while it was also effective up front. To emphasise that both goals were scored by two strikers: Riki and Bodipo. The negative thing is that Antonio Tom??s got injured before the kick-off, while De Guzm??n left the game for muscular problems, tough their injuries aren’t serious.

BEFORE THE GAME
Coach Miguel Angel Lotina was ready to send the expected squad to the pitch, but Antonio Tom??s got injured during the warming (ankle sprain), it happened  just minutes before the kick-off, therefore his place alongside Juan Rodr?­guez was taken by Julian de Guzm??n. The Canadian, Andr?©s Guardado and Riki were the only ones that repeated their participation in the starting eleven compared to the squad that lost at home with Sporting Gij??n.

One of the main novelties was Fabricio, Canarian keeper that was making his debut on the season during a local competition. Manuel Pablo covered the left-back position and Laure entered to occupy the right side. Cristian returned to the right wing and Z?© Castro to the centre of the defence.

At Elche the main novelty was that goalkeeper Jaime Jim?©nez suffered a tendonitis on his right feet during a previous training session, reason why Argentinean Wilfredo Daniel Caballero â€?Willy’ covered the position. Other news was that ex-Betis striker Dani was left sited on the bench while Argentinean Gast??n Caprari started alongside Iv??n Bolado up front.

FIRST HALF
Elche was the side that pushed strongly within the first ten minutes. The home side took a couple of corner-kicks that didn’t create any trouble to Fabricio while a chance of Caprari was annulled for an offside. At the 8th minute Laure intercepted a ball, Sa??l found the rebound and sent a mid-distance shot that Fabricio stopped. Two minutes later the same Sa??l was searching for Caprari during a free-kick that he sent to the box, but the ball didn’t find any receiver.

The first approximation of Deportivo came until minute 11, it was a long ball of Piscu searching for Riki, but the Madrilenian lost it when he faced a rival. The script of the movie was clear: Elche was trying to attack and Deportivo to play using the counterattacks. A key piece in the scheme of Lotina was Joan Verd??, the Catalan was trying to direct the fast attacks of Depor with his quick passes to Riki and Guardado. These last two men were the more offensive players at Depor during the first part.

At the 17th minute, Cristian had an attempt to score as he sent a shot on target from mid-distance, but the ball went directly to the hands of keeper Caballero. The Catalan enjoyed of a positive game in the first half  and was also helping Verd?? in midfield. Two minutes later, Z?© Castro was near to head a cross from Guardado during a free-kick, but Caballero contained the ball. With the pass of time, Depor started to feel more comfortable and its attacks were more incisive. At minute 21, Riki was left alone against Caballero, but the referee whistled a doubtful outside.

At minute 26, a combination between Verd?? and Guardado was near to bring positive things for Depor, but defender De Palmas cleared the ball before it reached the Mexican winger. And one minute later the goal arrived for the Galicians. It was a big mistake of defender Amaya who lost the ball at the back zone, Riki took advantage of the occasion and ran eight meters to enter the penalty area, then the Madrilenian beat Caballero with a right-foot effort. It was the first goal of a striker at Depor since the one conquered by Mista in the opening liga game against Real Madrid.

The goal awakened Elche, because the home side started to fell asleep since minute 10 and the disadvantage in the scoresheet was now pushing its players to search for the equaliser. At the 36th minute, Caprari was near to find a pass of Rodri inside the box, but Piscu arrived first and cleared the danger. In the counterattack, Verd?? was searching for Riki inside the box, but the ball was cleared by a defender.

Despite Elche was having the initiative, the true is that Deportivo was feeling very comfortable inside the pitch. The Galician side was holding at the back zone and it was betting in its fast and deadly attacks, like the occasion when Verd?? made a quick pass to Riki that surprised the local team, Olmo had to commit a foul over the Madrilenian in order to stop the action (39’). Two minutes later the sequence was repeated, this time with the participation of Cristian, but the final shot of Riki went over the crossbar. At minute 42 Guardado had an attempt to score through a direct-free kick, but his final effort was cleared by Caballero with his fists. The last action of the first half was a header of Juan Rodr?­guez during a free-kick of Verd??, the ball went out.

Lotina’s team didn’t suffer too much in the first half, mainly because Adri??n L??pez �Piscu’ was intercepting all the passes to the box made by Elche. The key for the Galicians was the effectiveness of the combination Verd??-Cristian-Guardado-Riki, these four men were moving the ball very quickly and they created several occasions to score. Something that was releasing the initial pressure of the local team.

SECOND HALF
Like it happened in the first part, Elche started the actions pushing up front. At minute 4, Caprari made a shot on target that was stopped by Fabricio. In the next play Juan Rodr?­guez was trying to head a corner-kick of Verd??, but Willy Caballero arrived first and contained the ball. At the 8th minute a combination between Caprari and Iv??n Bolado ended with a wide shot.

At minute 9, De Guzm??n had to leave the pitch with a muscular injury, his place was taken by Rodolfo Bodipo. The Canadian started the game because Antonio Tom??s got injured during the warming, now he was injured too. The modification kept the 4-2-3-1 figure at Depor, the difference was that Verd?? was playing alongside Juan Rodr?­guez in midfield, while Riki started to perform as playmaker and Bodipo as the lonely attacker.

The next chance for the home team was a free-kick of Dani Benitez that Fabricio brilliantly saved (57’). Deportivo replied two minutes later with a counterattack leaded by Verd?? and that goalkeeper Caballero cleared before the ball was reaching Bodipo. After this play, Mista replaced Riki. This modification was now switching the scheme into a 4-4-2, with Mista playing behind Bodipo.

At minute 61, Depor made a good play as Mista and Guardado combined to send a cross that Cristian found near the area, but the final shot of the Catalan went out. At Elche, ex-Betis Dani was entering replacing Iv??n Bolado. The Ilicitano squad was trying to base its attacks in the mobility of Dani, but the combination Z?© Castro-Piscu was winning all the challenges.

The first and only error at Depor’s defensive line came at minute 69, Z?© Castro couldn’t control a high ball after it hit the ground in a strange way, the rebound was found by Dani, but the striker sent s shot over the crossbar. Depor reacted with an attack leaded by Guardado that ended with a cross cleared by Olmo, the rebound was found by Cristian, but his final pass to Bodipo was intercepted first by keeper Caballero (70’).

And the second goal of Deportivo arrived in the next play, the action was started by Juan Rodr?­guez who stole a ball in midfield, then he made a pass to Manuel Pablo who later assisted Piscu, then the Galician defender passed the ball to Mista who sent a cross from the right wing, the ball was found by Rodolfo Bodipo inside the box and his crossed shot hit the far post and then went inside the goal.

No matter the advantage of two goals, Depor continued attacking. The next occasion for the visitors was started by Guardado as the Mexican sent a cross to the path of Bodipo, but Zubiaurre intercepted the ball. The final fifteen minutes were really open, with Elche searching to reduce the distances and with a Depor that was feeling comfortable with his fast counterattacks. The final modification made by Lotina was the introduction of Albert Lopo for Guardado, the idea of the change was to put a more defensive option in midfield. Now Depor was playing with a 4-3-2-1 figure. Z?© Castro was the defender playing alongside Juan Rodr?­guez and Verd?? in the centre of the pitch, while Mista covered the left wing and Cristian the right. Bodipo stayed alone up font.

At minute 79, Rodri had an attempt to score with a mid-distance shot that was stopped by Fabricio. The high pace saw after Depor’s second goal was lost within the final five minutes, both teams were now tired and the only attempt to score during this final part of the game was a wide shot of Bodipo (89’).

AFTER THE GAME
Comfortable victory for Deportivo. The Galician side didn’t face too many difficulties against the last place at Segunda Divisi??n. Lotina’s squad  displayed a cautious style at the Mart?­nez Valero stadium, and the key for the victory was represented by two facts: the defensive solidity mainly showed with Piscu, Z?© Castro and Filipe and the effectiveness up front as Verd?? was quickly leading the fast attacks of Depor, the Catalan was always supported by Guardado, Cristian and Riki in the first half while the couple Mista-Bodipo was his ally during the second part.

The only negative news in the game is that Lotina lost Antonio Tom??s and De Guzm??n in just 54 minutes, though their injury cases don’t’ look to be serious. Now Deportivo returns to  la liga as it will pay a visit on Sunday to the Manuel Luis de Lopera, this in order to face Real Betis (21h00 CET)

MATCH STATISTICS
Elche: Willy Caballero - De Palmas (Rubio 88’), Amaya, Olmo, Zubiaurre - Sa??l, Cobo (Usero 76’), Rodri, Dani Ben?­tez – Bolado (Dani 61’), Caprari
Deportivo: Fabricio - Laure, Piscu, Z?© Castro, Manuel Pablo - Juan Rodr?­guez, De Guzm??n (Bodipo 54’) - Cristian, Verd??, Guardado (Lopo 76’) – Riki (Mista 59’)
Goals: 0-1: (27’) Riki, 0-2: (71’) Bodipo.
Referee: Fern??ndez Borbal??n. He showed yellow card to De Guzman (18’), Laure (28’), Piscu (66’) and Z?© Castro (74’)
Venue: Mart?­nez Valero stadium (3,710)

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