Idea Lacking Elche CF Lack Points
On Sunday 17th Elche CF travelled to the south west suburbs of Madrid to take on Rayo Vallecano at the Vallecas stadium.
Perhaps the most memorable moment of the match was caused by the home fans. The radical followers of Rayo, located in the stand behind the goal, have a reputation throughout Spain of piling on the pressure for the away goal keepers. Kiko Casilla fell foul of this in the 93rd minute when the fans threw an extra ball onto the pitch during an attack by Rayo. Casilla was quick to remove the ball, but instead of giving it to the ball gatherers, he launched a strong kick against the fans, earning himself a yellow card for this ugly gesture.
Fran Escriba was forced to field a starting line up with 6 changes, which especially for the defence proved both unsettling and fatal. Elche started in the usual way, giving possession to the locals, so it was with some surprise that they created the 0-1 scoreline after just 14 minutes. The Argentine forward, Lucas Boye, surrounded by rivals managed to find the gap to execute a shot that Dimitrievski did not even glimpse. Rayo soon responded and in the 26th minute Santi Comesaña made a comfortable cross from the front that debutant Mario Hernández managed to guide into the goal, putting a draw on the scoreboard. In the final seconds of the first half Benedetto missed a clear chance for Elche after a cross from Fidel, who decided to offer his teammate a scoring opportunity despite having a clear corridor to have fired a shot.
After the break, the rhythm dropped and the chances were not so common. Both managers made changes, but it was Iraola's decision to bring on Nteka which proved to be the game changer. Gaining possession of the ball just after the the half way line he unleashed a long right footed shot which slipped in past an unresponsive Casilla. With 3 points in the bag, Rayo fought tooth and nail to hold onto their lead, including employing time wasting tactics for which the referee added an extra 8 minutes.
Next week is a busy week for the Franjiverdes. The EuroTourGuide Coach is already available for booking for Elche CF's home fixture against Espanyol at the Martinez Valero on Saturday 23rd October for a 18:30 kick off. The team will then travel to the Basque Country to play relegation zone placing Alaves on Tuesday evening before facing Real Madrid at home on Saturday 30th for a 2pm kick off.