Castilla have stalled at periods throughout this season, but every time they've slipped up, results elsewhere have gone their way and they still find themselves just short of a playoff place. It isn't likely that they will be so lucky forever, and they have needed a win for a while to capitalize on their good fortune. Unfortunately, they have not been able to make their own luck, and have squandered every opportunity so far this year. Today they travelled to SD Leioa in an attempt to get back on track. They won the first tie thanks to an Enzo penalty in the dying seconds, and this game promised to be just as close. Castilla started with a 433, with Sergio Díaz continuing to play out wide, and Tena coming in for the injured Fede Valverde.
The first half was incredibly dull, and Castilla did not show up at all. Leioa came out better from the first minute, in which they scored the opener, to the last. Castilla lacked everything, and were lucky to go into the break only 1-0 down, as Leioa hit the woodwork on multiple occasions. The only positives going forwards in the first half were the runs of Febas and Díaz, with the latter finding himself more inactive on the wing than he would like. Half time approached and Castilla needed a big switch up to have any chance in this game.
Castilla came out of the break a different side. They made no changes, but surprisingly changed their style of play, and kept the ball much better, whilst creating more through the middle. Most of the attacking play went through Sergio Díaz, but it seemed no one was there to finish off his moves. Campuzano had a brilliant bicycle kick saved for a corner and a couple of other chances spawned, but it looked ever more likely that Castilla were going to draw another blank. That was until a free kick was whipped in by Luismi, and Hermoso saw his shot saved well, only for Javier Sánchez to find the back of the net to make it 1-1. Castilla were now on top, and Nikos Vergos was brought on for Campuzano late on in an attempt to find a winner. It was however, Leioa who came the closest, hitting the bar, and forcing a brilliant save from Luca Zidane in the final moments. The game ended 1-1, meaning Castilla have won 0 games in 4, pushing them further away from their goal of reaching the playoffs.
So, a decent second half to salvage a terrible first half showing earned Castilla a point. They are now in desperate need of a win next week when they host Fuenlabrada. Man of the match today went to Sergio Díaz, who had his best game on the wing yet. Every time he had the ball he created something, and made some world class runs. If he was playing up top I'm adamant Castilla would be leaving with all 3 points. Yet another week in which Solari's misplacement of Díaz amongst others has lost Castilla the points. It will be very interesting to see what team he fields out next week. I'll be sure to have you covered!
Goals: J Sánchez
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