Real Mallorca’s away curse returned on Sunday, when their hopes of a top six finish were dented by basement strugglers Cordoba who have one and a half feet in Segunda B. It was their first home win (3-2) since December.
The game was only four minutes old when the Andalusians took a shock lead. With our defence looking like they’d lost an hour’s sleep in the overnight clock change, Cordoba took full advantage of some slack marking, allowing the Italian hit-man Piovaccari to open their account. Normally reliable centre back Antonio Raillo, who’s from Cordoba, was given the run-around by the Italian striker. Viewing fans in the Mallorcafé were stunned when that goal went in as we looked a pale imitation of a team who had gone unbeaten in six games. We looked shell-shocked and couldn’t settle into any kind of rhythm. It took Lago Junior 15 minutes for his first touch. Coach Moreno selected the team who beat Zaragoza 3-0 last Monday but they were a shadow of that outfit.
As Mallorca struggled to get a foothold on the game, Budimir toe-poked an effort inches past the post as after 20 minutes we had a mini-revival. A terrible Cantabrian referee called Lopez Toca then adjudged Suarez to have impeded Andres in the area but De Las Cuevas’ effort from eleven metres went high and wide as Mallorca fans breathed a sigh of relief. Changes were imminent at the break and Aridai came on for Baba. Aridai with only his second touch put Mallorca level although, in reality, Lago Junior was a clear yard offside.
By now Cordoba were playing the falling-down game with players dropping like flies for the merest coming together. There was another blow for Mallorca, when from out of nowhere the omnipresent Piovaccari popped up again to score his second. He was a nightmare for our defence and was even involved in Cordoba’s third goal, passing to De Las Cuevas who volleyed home a worldy from outside the penalty area.
Budimir, who kept getting caught offside, was joined upfront by Abdon Prats on the hour mark and the Arta-born striker bundled in Mallorca’s second goal. Now we started to play good football as Cordoba were on the ropes.
Coach Moreno was sent off near the end for protesting too much (for the second time this season), and now faces a two-game touchline suspension. The last ten minutes were like the Alamo as Mallorca poured forward. Lago Junior rattled the crossbar in the 95th minute again with players in an offside position. Then Cordoba’s keeper went down with what looked like cramp. How does a goalkeeper get cramp when he’s not exactly been overworked ?
Results again went our way over the weekend. Despite our defeat we’re still in seventh place, one behind Cadiz, three ahead of Oviedo, and seven off automatic promotion with nine games left.