A goal by Aleix Febas after 26 minutes (the first for the Catalan since coming to Mallorca last summer) was enough to see Real Mallorca into the third round draw of the Copa del Rey which is made on Tuesday at 1 pm. In the end, the difference between a first division and a third division side became obvious despite the Castilians making a huge effort, especially in the last 20 minutes.
Zamora are copying Liverpool with their performances this season and yesterday’s cup exit was their first defeat this season. The game was described by a radio commentator as bad and boring because very few things happened. Most of the 3,000 freezing crowd at the Ruta de la Plata ground were dancing around to keep warm as two teams tried to play football on a bumpy playing surface.
Vicente Moreno returned to last week’s tactical line-up 3-5-2 with Valjent, Raillo and Sedlar all playing as central defenders. Surprisingly in the first half it was left back Lumor who was our best player. The young Ghanaian silenced his critics (me included) by laying on the opening goal in the 26th minute. He forced his way into the Zamora penalty area and after a lot of slipping and sliding in the cabbage patch goal area, the ball broke to Febas who tapped in the game’s only goal.
Zamora were full of enthusiasm as Mallorca sat back looking quite happy to defend their solitary goal until half time. We didn’t really have much defending to do first half but knew one mistake could change the outlook of the game. Just before half time Zamora’s Carlos Ramos cut in from the right and with only Fabricio (who started ahead of regular keeper Manolo Reina) to beat, ballooned the ball well over.
After the hot chocolate warmer during the break Zamora were a different team, Mallorca defending more than attacking, and Fabricio (on loan from Fulham) had to make several saves to keep us in the tie. Zamora’s Sergio Garcia should have put the home side level on 70 minutes but Fabricio made a great save. It was time for some Mallorca changes with the huge La Liga home game against Valencia (Sunday 19th kick off 12 midday) up next. Salva Sevilla was booked for a soft tackle and was substituted by Marc Pedraza. That was followed by another forgotten man coming on, Aleksander Trajkovski, who took Cucho Hernandez’s place. With time running out, Mallorca forced a corner and from it Raillo saw his header hit the bar. Minutes later it was Dani Rodriguez’s turn to rattle the goal frame when scoring looked easier.
The last ten minutes was all suffering for Mallorca as their goal led a charmed life, but somehow they hung on for another one-nil away from home cup win. Now the round of 16 awaits, probably against a second division side.