Monday, September 01, 2008

Sporting 1 - Getafe 2

Yesterday, my dearest Real Sporting de Gijón debuted in the Spanish Liga BBVA. They lost 1-2 against Getafe CF, twice finalist of the King's Cup and having been eliminated from UEFA Cup by Bayern Múnchen. Sporting did not deserve the result as they were the only team on the field that tried to play good football.

In the first half, Sporting started with speed, accuracy in the pass, pressing on the strikers and midfielders of the rival and only lack of precision shooting on goal stopped them from scoring before Getafe did. This happenned on minute 14, when Perez Burrull signalled an unexisting foul by Diego Castro. Albin kicked hard from the frontside of the area defended by Sporting. A visitor player embedded in the barrier moved away and Pedro and Kike Mateo also moved (inexplicably). The fast ball of Albin found no opposition and Sergio Sánchez could barely touch the ball. Lesson 1: Never get away of the barrier even if the ball is going to break your teeth.

The next five minutes belonged to Getafe but it was only a mirage. Sporting showed their decision to go for the match and went on with the good play based on speed and good treatment of the ball. The reward came on minute 35 as Diego Castro kicked hard from the outside of the area with no good results but he got the clearance and hit the ball hard again close to the opposite post of the goal.

In the second half, Sporting paid the effort done in the first part of the match. Getafe had the possesion of the ball but did not play vertically. Positional dominion of Getafe most of the time and few chances to score from both teams. On minute 86, the referee did not signal a clear foul to Diego Castro when counterattacking and in the next play Getafe scored their second goal. Although this decision had its importance in the final result, it is relative, as the red-white defense gave three chances for Getafe to score in that play. The last one was a clearance towards the center of the border of the area which Casquero took benefit of to score with a great and unstoppable kick. Lesson 2: Never clear the ball to the center, always to the sides and -if possible- out of bounds.

Although I mentioned the referee twice, he did well all over the match trying not to stop the game vey much. This is the opposite to the whistle concerts of the referees in the Second Division. But it is true that his only two mistakes cost two goals in the end and that he did not use the same judgment to book Sporting and Getafe players with yellow cards.

I am proud of the way in which Sporting played against one if the best football teams in Spain. As they get in better physical shape, this team will do great things in Spanish First Division. Of course, I bet against anyone who dares that they will remain as a First Division team at least in next season. They suffered in the end due to the energy spend in the first half. No player has been on the grass for 90 minutes all over the pre-season. This means that games are still very long for their legs. If Sporting players manage to play at least 60 minutes with that pace, they will do a lot of harm to most of the teams in the league.

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