Squad news

REVIEW: CARDIFF CITY 0 – DEPORTIVO 1 (FRIENDLY)

01 Aug 2010
First pre-season victory for Deportivo; Lotina used several of the normal starters, but it had to be Fabril’s Dioni the one that scored the winning goal. Depor was too thin in the first part, and only grew up for the final minutes.

Coach Miguel Angel Lotina presented a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Manu at the goal; Manuel Pablo at the right-back position, Diego Seoane was the improvised left-back, while the central defenders were Ze Castro and Colotto. Juan Rodriguez and Antonio Tomás were the two pivotes, the right winger was Urreta, Desmarets performed on the left, Michel was the playmaker and Riki the lonely attacker.

It was a slow match between two sides that didn’t have too many scoring opportunities. Depor had the ball possession in the first part, while City was betting on the counterattacks. The first chance was for striker Michael Chopra, but he missed the target, then Riki combined with Urreta to cut through the City defence. The Uruguayan looked to curl the ball with the outside of his boot, but failed to test local keeper David Marshall in goal as his effort flew past the near post.

Despite Deportivo was having the ball the best occasions were for Cardiff City FC. It a matter of ten minutes the locals had two opportunities. First Peter Whittingham started a play that left Ross McCormack one-on-one with Manu, only to see his effort drift wide with the keeper beaten. Later ‘The Bluebirds’ were again close to score. This time Gavin Rae combined with Whittingham and Chris Burke through a succession of one touch passes, before teeing up Chopra with a shot from the edge of the area; the striker hit it well, but could only watch as it slipped past the post.

After the half hour mark Riki was close to score from close-range, but the Madrilenian forward could only slip his effort wide of the far post. The locals responded as Whittingham almost scored through a swinging free-kick from the tight angle, only for Manu to scramble clear.

The second half started with Saul replacing Desmarets, which moved Urreta to the left. Also Ruben Perez debuted at Deportivo as he replaced Antonio Tomás. Later Valerón and Fabril’s Dioni entered for Urreta and Riki, and both would be important as they built up the play of the goal.

The truth is that Depor had more depth on the second half, especially within the final twenty minutes. First Urreta missed a chance as he was stopped by defender Gabor Gyepes; later Dioni missed the target with a crossed shot. And the goal of Depor came eight minutes before the end, and all thanks to Juan Carlos Valerón. In a delightful display of passing football, Saul and Valerón combined to put the former Spanish international free in the box. But with a sight of goal, the classy midfielder instead chose to pass, leaving Dioni with an easy tap in to give Deportivo the lead. It was a dream come true for the Fabril’s striker, who just a few weeks ago was playing at Tercera and now was taking part of an international game with Depor’s first squad.

Despite the win no big conclusions can be obtained from this game; Deportivo showed the same lack of depth and had some problems at defence, compared to the previous friendly games the difference this time was that the rival didn’t seize its chances, while Depor capitailised the last opportunity in the game. Ruben Perez had a positive debut as he seemed comfortable at midfield, while Dioni impressed with his goal after conquering other two during the pre-season of Fabril. Now the team returns to La Coruña and on Tuesday it will play the Teresa Herrera against Newcastle United (21h00 CET).

MATCH STATISTICS
Cardiff City: Marshall -  McNaughton (Matthews 72’), Rae, Hudson (Gerrard 61’), Whittingham, McCormack (Jarvis 80’) - Burke, Kallio (Vignal 46’), Drinkwater - Chopra - Blake (Gyepes 67’).
Deportivo: Manu - Manuel Pablo, Colotto, Ze Castro, Seoane - Antonio Tomas (Rubén Pérez 46’), Juan Rodríguez - Urreta (Valerón 73’), Michel (Aythami 86’), Desmarets (Saúl 46’) - Riki (Dioni 57’).
Goal: (82’) Dioni
Referee: Mark Whitby.
Venue Cardiff FC Stadium (10,000)

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