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Match Report: Algeciras 0 - 1 Real Madrid Castilla

Castilla get back to their winning ways in the last game before the playoffs.

Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

4’ Peter Federico (assist; Gonzalo García).

Starting XI: Luis López – Pablo Ramón, Álvaro Carrillo, Rafa Marín, Marvel, Obrador – Mario Martín, Álvaro Martín, Peter Federico – Nico Paz, Gonzalo García.

Real Madrid Castilla went into the final regular game of the season in poor form. After delivering fantastically throughout most of the year, Raúl González’s young side couldn’t seem to handle the pressure that comes with a promotion battle. This resulted in three losses, one draw and just one win in their last five games. Saturday’s game against Algeciras was therefore largely about keeping Deportivo behind them in the table.

Castilla were also without several important players. Not only is key player Sergio Arribas at risk of missing the rest of the season through injury, but this week it also became clear that first-choice goalkeeper Mario de Luís is on the injury list and will be out for several weeks. In addition, Carlo Ancelotti opted to include Álvaro Rodríguez in the first-team squad that traveled to Sevilla.

Fortunately for Raúl, the U19 team’s season is over, and the Castilla coach was able to bring along the likes of Nico Paz and Gonzalo. The latter surprisingly joined Nico Paz and went straight into the starting eleven, once again underlining how far behind Iker Bravo is in the queue. Another player who has lost his place recently is Vinícius Tobías. The Brazilian has been forced to make way for Obrador and Peter in most games of late, and for this game, center-back Pablo Ramón was prioritized at right-back.

Despite their poor form, Castilla didn’t seem to lack confidence in the opening minutes and the match started in the best possible way for the youngsters. Shortly after kick-off, Gonzalo was played through on the wing by Pablo Ramón. The Juvenil A player showed great ball control and vision as he found Peter Federico in front of goal, and the latter flicked the ball in beautifully with his backheel. 1-0 to Castilla after just three minutes.

Algeciras put up a good fight, and after 26 minutes reserve keeper Luis López had to make a top save from a shot outside the box. A big mistake from Mario Martín led to a great chance for the home team soon after, but Castilla escaped until half time.

Gonzalo almost managed to start the second half as well as the first. The 19-year-old made another smart move without the ball, this time from a set-piece, but was unable to convert Álvaro Martín’s free-kick into a goal. A few quiet minutes followed, before a big mistake from Rafa Marín almost allowed Algeciras to equalize. Another good intervention from Luis López ensured Castilla retained the lead.

Theo Zidane was sent off just seconds before the end, causing several players to boil over. Even Raúl was shown the yellow card. However, it had no impact on the result. Castilla won 1-0 and finished third on the table, while Algeciras could celebrate avoiding relegation. For Castilla, it was already clear that playoffs await after this round. The stage is set, not only for a Mini-Clásico, but also a coaching duel between Raúl and Rafa Márquez. The first leg will be played in Barcelona, while the second leg will take place at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano in Madrid.

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