Lago Junior missed a couple of chances.

18-02-2017Miguel Garcia

Real Mallorca were left to rue their squandered opportunities once again as they lost 1-0 at second top Girona on Saturday night, going down to a headed goal from a corner in the 88th minute.

We missed four glorious chances in a first half dominated by the Palma side who played as if there wasn't an 18-point difference between them and us, which it was before kick-off. Midfielder Juan Dominguez, who's found a new lease of life under coach Olaizola, was on his own in the six-yard box after just eight minutes but somehow managed to scoop his shot over the bar. Two minutes later another chance came a-begging; this time Lago Junior's effort was tipped over by Rene in the home goal.

It was all Mallorca in the first half. Lago was through again and Rene made himself big to keep out the Ivorian's effort. Dominguez was given another chance to score in the 35th minute and again he fluffed his lines. Watching fans in the Mallorcafé couldn't believe we'd missed four chances and as the half-time whistle blew we knew it was going to be a different second half.

Our total domination faded away as Girona found another gear. We were now on the receiving end of the home side's attacks and some resolute defending became the order of the night. Could we hold on for an unexpected point as the clock ticked down?

Then a cruel blow for Mallorca seconds after Culio was dismissed for a second yellow in the 88th minute. Girona won a corner. Two weeks ago we lost away at Oviedo to a set piece near the end; lo and behold it happened again. This time defender Juanpe (who had made Cabrero make a wonder save seconds before) got on the end of an inch-perfect cross to head the home team in front. The Girona bench danced jigs of joy, the Mallorca bench and players collapsed to the ground in abject misery. We had given it our best shot, with our best away showing in a poor season on the road but at the end of the day our endemic failure to score goals was our downfall.

Summing up: The longer this game went on, the more frustrated Real Mallorca's players became. The last five minutes saw a mini brawl after Culio was dismissed. His situation is worth mentioning. When the initial line-up and subs were announced, I said to my viewing companion that we didn't have a replacement midfielder. Culio came back from a long-term injury last week and looked knackered after 50 minutes. On Saturday after a bright start, he ran out of legs in the second half and was booked in the 35th minute. He was lucky not to have been sent off earlier and finally was overtaken by the red mist in the 86th minute, when he crossed to the dark side.

Culio's tackle to warrant a second yellow card was horrendous and he could have no complaints. However, there was also no excuse for Lago Junior (our man of the match) who ran back 50 yards to get involved in an incident that had nothing to do with him. For his stupidity he also was booked. Coach Olaizola said he was to blame for not picking a midfielder as a potential replacement. After Culio was given his first booking and came close to being dismissed earlier, Olaizola should have taken him off but couldn't because he hadn't got anybody suitable to take his place. Both Juan Rodriguez and Alex Vallejo were out injured.

After the whistle blew for time in the 96th minute one fan in the bar said: “I don't think I've been so disappointed as this all season. I don't know how Mallorca haven't got at least a point but you cannot miss four clear-cut chances against one of the automatic promotion favourites. I blame the general manager and the director of football for not pulling out all the stops by bringing in a goalscoring striker.”

It was evidently a very silent flight back from Barcelona as the players licked their wounds. Make no mistake, Olaizola has got his boys fired up and they looked impressive in the first half but we really must somehow turn these chances into goals. It's so frustrating. We're now still one point above the bottom four.

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