Without a Win: Elche CF 16, Celta Vigo 7
The seeds of hope that Elche's second half performance last week produced, have failed to germinate. Expectations were high for the match at Celta Vigo's Estadio de Balaidos on Friday night. Both teams were suffering from a long win-less streak; Celta Vigo last won on the 30th December, 7 matches ago, whilst we have to go all the way back to the 23rd October for Elche's last win.
As is so often the case with the Franjiverdes, intrigue preceded the fixture. Christian Bragarnik, the Elche owner and Argentinian Football Agent and representative for the Elche manager, Almiron, seems to also be involved in the representation for Eduardo German Coudet, the Celta Vigo manager. An interesting, irregular and some might say potentially score altering situation!
The first half was evenly matched until Almiron's men took an early half time Siesta and conceded 2 goals within 60 seconds! On the 45th minute, Vigo born 25 year old Santi Mina, slotted a bullet into the centimetres between Badia and his post. On the 45th+1 minute team mate Brais Mendez took his opportunity in an open goal, as Badia wasn't able to gather in the ball following an attack.
The Elche fans were left hoping for a repeat of last weeks second half performance. They were not disappointed, as after just 5 minutes the Franjiverdes bounced back to make the score 2-1. A communication error between the Celta goalie No13 and his No4 defence resulted in the ball falling at the feet of Carrillo, who whipped it across the front of the open goal to the thigh of a waiting Rigoni, who could not fail to score. More fluke than skill, but still a vital goal. However the fan's hopes were totally extinguished on the 68th minute when Santi Mina scored his second goal of the match. It was a stunning ballerina like mid air volley to the top left hand corner, an impossible save.
The consequence of yet another loss was published on the Elche CF website barely an hour after the match. Almiron resigned. His short explanation was along the lines of 'there is not much to explain, except to wish the best to the club and players'. The fans are left wondering if Almiron left it too late to leave and who will arrive?
Elche CF will play their bitter rivals Eibar, who were promoted when Elche were dubiously and rather harshly relegated from La Liga in 2014/15 for financial irregularities, on Saturday 20th at 14:00.
As soon as spectators are allowed back into the stadiums, EuroTourGuide will once again be offering Coach Tours with Match Tickets to support Elche CF. Please sign up to receive your free newsletter on www.eurotourguide.com