Lago Junior and Ortuño rue another missed chance on Sunday. | Miquel A. Borras

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Real Mallorca and Osasuna shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at the Son Moix in front of a 9,000 crowd on Sunday night. The result didn’t really help either team’s cause: Mallorca, in their quest to pull away from the basement area of La Segunda, and the visitors, who drew their fourth game in a row leaving them some distance from their goal of the play-offs.

Mallorca dominated the first half and should have gone in at half time ahead by more. As it was, a tap in from Ortuño was scant reward after Osasuna’s ex-Mallorca keeper Nauzet pushed out a corner kick in the 22nd minute. Time and time again we got behind the visitors’ defence and put over crosses with nobody on the receiving end in front of goal. It was total frustration for Mallorca fans who couldn’t believe just how many clear-cut chances went begging. Once again we had a case where the Palma side were incapable of overcoming average opponents who never looked like causing a threat.

Five minutes into the second half and Osasuna were level. A dubious penalty award saw Kasim Adams allegedly fouling Nino in the area. An indifferent referee pointed to the spot, booking Kasim. Torres squeezed home the spot kick, Wellenreuther in the Mallorca goal having got fingertips to the penalty but there was too much power on the shot. That was a game changer and suddenly we found ourselves on the back foot. Osasuna took the game by the scruff of the neck and looked dangerous as it was all hands to the pump in the Mallorca defence.

Coach Fernando Vazquez brought on Lago Junior for an insignificant Salomao in the 68th minute, but the young Ivorian once again failed to make any impact. Then Colunga, who was our goal hero two weeks ago, was replaced by Oscar Diaz, and Arana, who’d hardly touched the ball, came off, making way for Brandon Thomas. These changes brought Mallorca back into the game but it seemed too little too late. Both Brandon and Ortuño came close in a grandstand finish but Mallorca came up short in a game they should have had home and hosed by half time.

SUMMING UP
Mallorca threw away a golden chance to pull clear of the relegation zone after a great first half spoiled by bad finishing and missed chances in an underwhelming game that saw both goalkeepers given a comparatively easy evening. Mallorca did more than enough to snatch a much-needed three points before half time against a well cagey Osasuna defence. The visitors were noticeably brighter after the interval with the veteran Nino upfront causing problems. After substitutions, Mallorca looked to re-assert themselves, coming close near the end but we failed on many occasions to take control of possession.

Once again we didn’t put in enough effort. We forced nine corner kicks and only when we got the last one towards the end of the game did Sabader run to take it. The other eight saw our players nonchalantly strolling towards the corner flag. It was all too casual. We defended corners with ten men behind the ball yet when Osasuna won a penalty we had two men on the halfway line.

In Sr Lopez Amaya from Andalusia we had another shocking second division official, awarding the visitors a soft penalty for a pretty innocuous tackle. Then near the end he refused us a clear free kick on the edge of Osasuna’s area after Brandon Thomas was bundled off the ball. The young Cala d’Or player looked sharp after a few weeks on the periphery and many fans say that if he plays well, Mallorca play well. Right at the death an Ortuño shot flashed agonisingly past the far post. As expected at the end of the game, the fans vented their frustration towards the referee and his officials, who should spend the next game sitting on their hands because, quite frankly, they were hopeless.

As one expat Mallorca fan said: “This present side are not good enough to hold on to a one goal lead, with no player standing out consistently every week." It’s going to be a tight squeeze to stay up with our two back-to-back home games at the end of May taking on new meaning. The islanders are now 16th, three points above the relegation bottom four. This Sunday we play at Lugo, with the Galician club eight points above us. It’s a homecoming for Fernando Vazquez, he was in charge of Lugo in 94/95 and hails from the nearby town of Castrofeito. A draw in the tiny Anxo Carro stadium would be a good result – a win even better.