The wind never blows in favor in the Rico Pérez, not even with more than eighteen thousand lungs blowing breath. It never happens. Nor in a League in which the average attendance of the public rarely exceeds nine hundred spectators. Something is always missing, something always fails, there is always a rude mistake to regret. Those who return to visit after having stepped on it with the blue and white shirt on, those do better. Whether by chance or by twisted poetic justice, yesterday Intercity ended the leadership status of its new intimate “enemy” thanks to a goal built between Pol Roigé, Benja and Álvaro Pérez, who scored the winning goal. He asked for forgiveness, and it is not known if it is wrong or right, let each one judge him. All three have a herculaneum past, they all left without leaving the mark of excellence that was assumed when they arrived. Sure it happens in other cities, in other franchises, but in those that have been around for a hundred years it is repeated more often. Simple statistics.
The second edition of the derby that never wanted to be was won by the youngest following the most predictable script. Siviero did plan the clash, he visualized it during the week and executed it on the pitch. For better or worse, what he wanted was played at all times. His is an expensive, well-built team, a block that he endowed with an enviable strength in both areas the day that, drowned out by the poor initial results, he embedded Kecojevic between the two central defenders and opted for two lanes with an offensive projection of a very appreciable value. The proposal is so good that, without changing it, they have won ten games in the last 16 days and have not lost any.
His Intercity is an agile, intense team, that does not suffer without the ball, that forces its rivals to always move the ball away from Manu Herrera’s goal, that pushes out and condemns the opponents to abuse the aerial game, another facet for him who has an essential repellent: the sober Bosnian defender, an unscathed, unwavering, foundational footballer.
On the days that are presumed great, you never have to wait long for happiness to fade from Herculeanism. The emotion soon deforms into a fan accustomed to relativizing sorrows on the way home so as not to gobble up synthetic placebos.
He was without consuming the first quarter of an hour and Adrián, attentive and well placed, had already stopped a very clear one for Benja. It was prescient. In the following arrival of the black team (yesterday in fluorescent green), Roigé took a corner at the near post, Benja calmly combed it and, free of a mark despite being a regular finisher, Álvaro Pérez appeared to push the leather into the net.
The goal did not transfer the superiority with the ball of one team over another, but it did reflect the possibilistic attitude with which they stepped onto the pitch. The Intercity was more intense, they won the individual duels, one of them against Mario Ortiz, one that in the end was decisive.
There was no panic, on the contrary. Hercules had to react. But of course, doing it against a block perfectly prepared to defend in situations like that is a very delicate task. Even more so when, just a few moments later, you waste the clearest chance in the world. Raúl Ruiz crossed from the sideline and the ball fell to Aketxe only to graze it with his fingernail and score a goal. There was no one. There was no doorman. He was almost over the line, he stretched his leg, but he didn’t make it… There are days when it’s better not to get out of bed, thought the Basque and, with him, the whole crowd.
The desire, the drive, the delivery leveled off, and the derby entered vibrant mode. Juanma Ortiz dodged everyone who came in his way, reached the bottom line, saw that Ferroni was making the same trip as him in the other lane and gave him a measured pass that the Rosario winger finished off softly with his head. The shadow of the 0-2 glided feverishly throughout the flight of a ball that Adrián finally stopped, again.
Before closing the first half, Pedro Sánchez had a ball left bouncing in the small area, right in the center, with time to arm his leg and his shot inexplicably went over the crossbar. Seeing is believing…again.
It was clear that the Hercules’s damage formula needed to be reformulated. Without overflow and with the three center backs drowning the only forward in position, Mora removed Nico from the field (completely annulled) and brought in Raúl González. It worked. It was ten minutes of blue and white siege because the marks were no longer fixed and the aid cost a lot. In that trance of clear local dominance, the forward from Alicante assisted Pedro Sánchez. Intercity, in their only serious mistake, took the offside wrong and Aspe’s man was left alone in front of Herrera that the assistant, largely, more by deduction than by visual certainty, raised the flag when the Blue and Whites were already celebrating the tie. Badly annulled goal seven days after a penalty not indicated on the same protagonist.
The general anger did not go away, nor did the feeling of being shipwrecked again on the least propitious day. The Hercules kept pushing, but on each trip with less faith, less fiercely, until it ran out of the energy needed to knock down a valuable wall made of Carrara marble.
1 The Hércules players protest Pedro Sánchez’s annulled goal at the request of his line judge for a non-existent offside.
2 Juanma Ortiz gets rid of Aketxe and Nico Espinosa.
3 Cristian Herrera faces José Fernández and Raúl Ruiz.
BIKORO The great absentee falls in the African Cup (3-1)
Federico Bikoro’s historic journey with Equatorial Guinea in the African Cup ended last night. The great absentee yesterday at the Rico Pérez fell with his team against Senegal, who took the lead in the 28th minute with a goal from Famara Diédhiou. Jannick Buyla equalized, in the 58th, but Kouyaté, as soon as he entered the field, unbalanced the contest (68). He sentenced Watford striker Ismaïla Sarr.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.