Elche CF Dream Derby
Friday night was derby night for Elche CF as they took on Valencia in the Martinez Valero. The atmosphere would have been electric and the stadium almost full, but covid intervened. Valencia started the game with 7 points from their 6 matches, while Elche also started on 7 points but from 4 matches.
The game began slowly with Jorge Almiron's 5,3,2 formation quite evident. The first excitement of the game happened on 19 minutes. Josan #17 for Elche shot a screamer from just inside the box which sailed past the Valencian defenders, clipped the finger tips of the goalie and ended up in the back of the net. Josan was making his 100th appearance for the club having played for them since 2018 when they were in the Segunda B, the 3rd tier of Spanish football. This rocketed Elche CF up the table to an amazing 5th position in La Liga!!! The second excitement happened at 37 minuets. After some fancy showboating footwork from Josan, he flicked the ball to Fidel who was unmarked just yards from the goal. Gooooollllllll and a 2-0 scoreline. Danger presented itself just moments later as Valencia had a free kick in front of goal, which went high over the bar.
Valencia came out after their half time talking too, looking more like a La Liga team. They had a great header opportunity after 10 minutes which was saved as it was directed directly at the sure feet of goalie Badia #13. This attack by Valencia was followed by many more pressured attacks, all of which lead to nothing. Edgar Badia made his 2nd impressive save of the evening at 70 minutes, which was quickly followed by his 3rd! With 15 minutes to go, #3 Toni Lato split the Elche defence, bringing Badia off his line and scored in an open goal. The next Valencia attack made it past Badia only to be miraculously cleared just centimetres from the line by Elche Capitain Verdu. After a nervous second half and 5 minuets of injury time, Elche CF finished victorious with the 3 points leaving then in 5th place for the one night, before the rest of the games were played.
Elche CF's next challenge will be against Real Betis away at the Benito Villamarin in Sevilla on Sunday the 1st November at 14:00.