Real Madrid Castilla are officially through to the promotion phase of the Segunda B season after a 1-1 draw with Group 1 winners San Sebastian de los Reyes.
Heading into their final game of the first phase, Castilla were all but sure of a place in the next round following a 3-1 win at home to Atletico Madrid B last week. Their nearest challenger, Rayo Majahonda, needed a five goal swing in their favor to finish above Raul’s team. By half time, it had increased to nine goals as Las Rozas took a 2-0 lead against Rayo and Marvin’s late equalizer calmed any lingering nerves that Sunday wouldn’t be Castilla’s day.
Castilla - San Sebastián de los Reyes ! pic.twitter.com/JYOhfNd9o2— Real Madrid Fabrica (@FabricaMadrid) March 21, 2021
Raul rotated his team for the final game with Arribas, Hugo Duro and Marvin all starting on the bench. The front three of Latasa, Hugo Vallejo and Peter Federico have served Castilla magnificently since the turn of the year and continued to do so in the first 45 against Sanse, enjoying the better chances of the game. In truth, Castilla only have themselves to blame for missing out on top spot, Sanse’s goal being scored by Pablo Ramon whose botched clearance ended up in Toni Fuidas’s net.
Duro, Marvin and Arribas all came on in response to going down and after a handful of opportunities to equalize, Marvin Park smashed home a half volley to level the scores.
QUE GOLAZOOOOOOOO DE MARVIN PARK !!!!— Real Madrid Fabrica (@FabricaMadrid) March 21, 2021
Assist from Pablo Ramón !
Sanse 1-1 Castilla. pic.twitter.com/pGXzC1OZXx
Castilla, alongside San Sebastian de los Reyes and Internacional de Madrid, will join the top three teams from the other Group 5 subgroup (Badajoz, Extremadura and Talavera) to play for a place in the promotion playoffs. The first matches of the promotion phase are due to go ahead on April 4th with teams from Subgroup A playing the teams from Subgroup B both home and away. Castilla should figure out who their first opponent is in the coming days. The top three teams (and the best fourth place team) of the five groups will then move to the traditional promotion playoffs.
This is the madness of Segunda b in case you’re wondering pic.twitter.com/BVTT0vLfEm— Sid Lowe (@sidlowe) August 1, 2020
Castilla’s tally of 32 points was the third best tally in the entirety of Group 5 and they have the second best attack heading to the next round. If they can continue their 2021 form, one would be hopeful they can secure a play off spot. At the very least, Castilla will be in the new third division next season, something that cannot be said for their city rivals.
Despite winning the group by a comfortable margin last year, Atletico Madrid B will, at best, be playing fourth division football next season after finishing in the relegation playoff spots. Given Castilla’s pretty miserable record in the mini-derby over recent seasons, it will be a relief not to having to travel to Los Rojiblancos next season.
Much of the credit for Castilla’s success this year has to be given to Raul. Between injury and first team appearances, he has been without some key figures in a crucial run for his team. The end of 2020 left with Castilla with some work to do and they have gone about that job in some style, losing just two of their final 10 games and winning six including three of their last four. Any questions about Raul’s pedigree as a manager have now been, unequivocally, answered and the future looks bright for the young coach and his team.