Real Mallorca match

Stoichkov (third right) gets the accolades after scoring.

27-10-2018MIQUEL A. BORRvÅS

Real Mallorca produced the mother of all comebacks, scoring two goals in three minutes after going behind two-nil after just 13 minutes to a very good Las Palmas side. They were the best team seen at the Son Moix so far. The adverse weather conditions (with rain falling for the most of the second half) cut the attendance to a derisory 5,835, but for those who made the effort, they witnessed a humdinger of a game especially in the first half.

We looked like scared rabbits caught in car headlights when the visitors scored after just six minutes. A 20-yard shot from Mallorca-born Rafa Mir whistled past Manolo Reina to put the Canary Islanders ahead. Six minutes later veteran Ruben Castro scored his customary goal to double the visitors' lead. The Gran Canaria side had quickly discovered our soft underbelly - defence - as fans hoped we weren’t in for a Real Madrid-style hammering.

It was to Mallorca’s credit that they fought their way back into the game, and kicking towards the Ultras behind the North goal we laid siege. In the 41st minute a blistering shot from Fran Gamez was only parried by Raul Fernandez in the Las Palmas goal and Lago Junior, playing a more central striking role, was there to net the spill. Three minutes later the unbelievable happened. Salva Sevilla took a corner and Stoichkov, in only his first league start for Mallorca, cleverly flicked in the equaliser. Just a few short months ago, if we’d gone two nil down so early, we would have thrown in the towel. Now under Vicente Moreno (who should be offered a contract extension immediately), we’ve found this never-say-die attitude and it so nearly paid dividends on Saturday.

During half time all the fans were talking about the entertainment they'd witnessed in the first half, and could it continue ? The answer was no, but it wasn’t the fault of the players. The weather took a turn for the worse and the heavens opened. The pitch became heavy and mistimed tackles were the order of the night. Las Palmas were showing why they are one of the promotion favourites and how they didn’t score in the second half was down to the elements and Lady Luck. The normally reliable Gamaz miscued a pass back allowing Ruben Castro a clear run on goal, Reina came out, narrowing the angle and saved the effort with his leg - what a let-off.

Ten minutes from time another misplaced pass allowed Araujo through unchallenged, and somehow his effort skidded wide. Mallorca fans released a huge sigh of relief at another reprieve. With virtually the last kick of the game Ruben Castro again found the net, only for the referee to disallow the goal for offside. By now Salva Ruiz had limped off, assisted by two backroom staff, to be replaced by Estupinan. He in turn was felled by a chin-high boot and was carried off on the stretcher. He finished off in intensive care with a collapsed lung.

In the end the draw left Mallorca more satisfied than Las Palmas, although we’ve now dropped out of the play-off positions and into seventh. Out of six points available at home in our last brace of games we've settled for two. It could have been better but also a lot worse.

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