Juvenil A traveled to Ávila to face Colegios Diocesanos, who are sitting in 9th place in the table, and they were met with biblical rain, which completely ruined the pitch. There were pools of water scattered across the pitch and the whole pitch was soaking wet and muddy. Clearly, we couldn’t expect free-flowing football with lovely combinations.
Guti made several changes to the lineup, all of them were by force. Martín Calderón, Fran García, and Moha Ramos were called up by the Spanish National Team for tournaments. Toni Robaina and Gorka Zábarte picked up injuries in the last weeks.
Juvenil started really well and in the 11th minute, Javi picked up the ball near the half way line and released a wonderful shot, which caught the keeper by surprise. This goal calmed Juvenil and they could focus on trying to keep the ball and break down their low block. Franchu and Oscar saw a lot of the ball and they persisted in keeping it on the left side of the pitch. Why? There was a simple reason, the left side was in somewhat okay-ish condition, whereas the right side was utterly destroyed. Thus Alberto and Soti (RW and RB respectively) saw very little of the ball. Javi was particularly impressive in the first half, he was everywhere. Not only did he score a beautiful goal, but he was very secure at the back, stopping every single one of Colegios’ counter attacks. Thanks to him Belman was only troubled from free kicks and corner kicks.
Juvenil at first tried to play their signature short passing game, but as the match progressed, the pitch got worse and worse. They abandoned their short passing and were focusing on quickly switching the flanks and hoping to catch Colegios in transition and creating space for Franchu and Alberto. Then in the 35th minute, Franchu made his classic dribbling-run down the left flank and squared it across the penalty box to Óscar, who missed an open net from less than 2 meters.
Less than a minute after half time, Echu, who was subbed on for Mink, had 2 golden chances in quick succession to make it 2-0, however both his shots were saved by the keeper. Lady Luck is a harsh mistress, because a few minutes later Colegios equalized from a corner. The defence was caught sleeping — Franchu was beaten to the second ball and the attacker was in an ideal position to score. He didn’t miss. Colegios’ players erupted in big celebrations, they thought that due to the pitch conditions this will be a very low scoring game, and this goal might give them a very valuable point.
Around the 50/60minute mark, Guti made a couple of changes – Bravo for Óscar, and Llario for Dani Gomez. These new players helped rejuvenate team the team, and in 62nd minute, Llario was through on goal. He tried to lob the keeper, but his lob wasn’t high enough. And then in the81st minute, Juvenil were awarded a free kick. Echu played a beautiful ball into the box and Javi managed to score once again and thus giving Juvenil a hard fought victory.
Goals: 2x Javi
All goals from this match:
Bits and pieces:
- On Thursday, Juvenil played a friendly match against Rayo Majadahonda from Segunda B (same division as Castilla - they lost to Rayo 1:0) and it was fascinating to watch these kids play against grown men. It was also a test for Guti against a tactically better side. Rayo pressed better, harder, and the whole tempo of the game was faster. It was interesting to watch which players can cope with this higher speed. There were 2 players who played on the same brilliant level as we are use to -> Óscar and Franchu, those were the two stand out players from the game. Guti made a lot of changes and those two played only 45mins so as to not be risked for Sunday's game. And because many players were unavailable, Guti handed out debuts to Juvenil B and C players, it was a nice gesture and reward for the title they've won in Doha. Overall it was a nice game from Juvenil, they were a good opponent to Rayo and, while they conceded a bit of an unnecessary goal, they didn't allow too many clear chances. In the last 10 minutes, Juvenil managed to equalize and the game ended 1-1.
- Last Tuesday Juvenil C won ALKASS International Cup U17. The star of this team - Miguel Baeza Perez (central midfielder) - won the top scorer award and MVP of the tournament. I suggest remembering his name, he is VERY good. Congratulations.
Goals from the final against Aspire Academy (2-0 win):