Historic Cup run comes to an end with 1-0 loss to Valencia
game, whose place was taken by Víctor Pastrana. Hugo and Delgado came back into the squad, as well as the aforementioned Pastrana. Calm repeated the same formation that was so successful against Getafe and Celta, with 3 centre backs and two wingbacks. Xavi Ginard in goal, centrebacks of Orfila, Luca Ferrone and Josep Jaume; two wingbacks of Canario and Ignasi, Cordero and Petcoff in the double pivot, Armando just ahead of them, and a front two of Vinicius and Dioni. The game stayed goaless for just 40 seconds. Pedro Orfila was unable to clear a ball and Marcos Andrés steamed in putting the ball underneath Ginard. With 1-0 on the scoresheet the game became very bogged down upfront because Bordelás’ team knew how to defend and contain ATB. The goal shook Calm’s team, who struggled to adapt in the opening minutes. In the 12th minute a good cross from Gayá was met by a backheel from Yunus Musah but was saved by Ginard who was comfortable all game, and all tournament. Little by little ATB came forward, winning battles and asserting themselves physically. Cordero and Damián started to play short passes, to calm the team. Bad news struck with an injury to Canario, with a painful blow to the hip that took him out of the game. Delgado took his place, leaving Luca Ferrone to take over at wingback. Cordero was brilliant in the first half, dancing forward various times. Armando created something every time he touched the ball or drove forward. A good piece of play by him with Damián led to a shot over the bar from Dioni. It was the first chance in the first half. The game was very even and every ball was a 50/50, with a very physical game. Valencia had another good chance in the 36th minute with a shot from Gayá. The two teams went in with 1-0 on the shore sheet.
After the restart ATB played a simple game, getting balls forward and searching for the equaliser. There were several yellow cards, which slowed the game down: Guillamón, Racic, and Dioni. Calm made changes, bringing on Hugo and José Fran and taking off Ignasi and Orfila. In the 58th minute Vini tried his luck from distance but fired over. Guedes came on and gave fluidity to Valencia’s play. Good play from him outside the box ended in a shot from Koba which went just wide. The young French midfielder had a great game. The best chance of the game was in the 75th minute with a counter attack ending in a low cross from Hugo with Vini getting in front of Diakhaby but firing wide. It was the clearest chance. The rest of the game the team tried but wasn’t able to find and equaliser. Debutant Víctor Pastrana gave a good account for his first game. He and José Fran were very good on the left wing but weren’t able to hurt Valencia, who were very focused and organised. In the end, the Balerico’s dream ended in the quarter finals, the best result in their history, with the game decided 40 seconds in, but with a magnificent effort.
Atlético Baleares: 1. Xavi Ginard, 6. Armando, 8. Cordero, 10. Canario (26′ 5. Carlos Delgado), 9. Vini (76′ 18. Víctor Pastrana), 12. Luca Ferrone, 15. Josep Jaume, 17. Dioni, 20. Ignasi (63′ 16. Hugo) and 22. Orfila (c) (63′ 7. José Fran).
Valencia CF: 1. Doménech, 4. Musah, 6. Hugo Guillamón (90′ 30. Javi Guerra), 8. Racic (64′ 20. Foulquier), 12. Diakhaby, 14. Gayà (c) (76′ 3. Lato), 15. Alderete, 19. Hugo Duro, 22. Marcos André (64′ 7. Guedes), 27. Koba and 37. Cristhian.
REFEREE: González Fuertes (Asturian): Booked for ATB; Ferrone and Dioni. Booked for Valencia CF: Guillamón, Racic, and Yunus.
Estadio Balear: 4.200 spectators (75% of capacity with 1.000 seats added).
POST MATCH COMMENTS:
Xavi Calm: “You never plan to concede early, these things happen in football and it affected us because Valencia defended very well, the rest of the game was very good. We have to be proud of the team, we have had some magical days, we have to remember them, turn the page and focus on the league, that is what we need. A great team came here, I don’t know if they will push for the Champions League or where they will end up, a very physical team, who were difficult to break down, that changed their tactics for the first time. A team that we struggled to create chances against, well organised on the pitch, we were doing it well and they made it hard. They got in behind several times and we lacked a bit of energy in the end, even though the difference in leagues wasn’t notable. We want to attack down the wings and we didn’t expect Canario to get injured and have to change him. In the second half we made attacking changes with José Fran and Pastrana to try and get 2 vs 1 and we deserved more from Vini’s chance. It’s one of the few that we had, but it was a clear chance, similar to the one they scored. The injury to Canario will be analysed by the medics and we’ll see what we have. I don’t have anything to say about the refereeing, maybe he should have added more time because their goalkeeper wasted a lot of time but everyone does that when they’re in front. The fans were 10/10. I am proud of the players, when you are young you dream about having these kind of games, I’m happy for them, they have no fear. Álvaro is a young boy who came to watch a training session two months ago with a health problem, he’s a big ATB fan, we formed a bond, we said that he will fight his disease and we will fight too, I’m happy that today he was here for the party. The dressing room was silent when I came in because when you lose it’s sad, but they know they gave everything, they did a great job, we are disappointed because if we hadn’t conceded so early maybe we would have kept it 0-0 until the end, we competed and now we’re focused on the league because if we play like this we will be happy at the end of the year. There are some complicated games coming up, a full calendar and covid. We have to prepare well, and give a rest to some players, use the squad and we hope ATB will achieve our goals, it’s the team’s moment.”
Luca Ferrone: “The team competed, we were in it the whole game, we wanted to avoid conceding early and in the end that decided the game. We have to be proud of the performances we’ve given and use that to focus on the league, because our goal is promotion. To concede so early made it hard, if it was 0-0 we could have made them more nervous due to how they play. A mistake at the start… but the team gave everything and we should be proud. Hopefully we Will have 4000 fans at every league game, it motivates us a lot and in the last few minutes we felt the support of the fans, we didn’t have that final chance. Hopefully the fans are hooked and we have that man people from now until the end of the season. The cup games have give us a positive outlook and against Celta and Valencia the team has shown that they can compete against a Primera division team, and now we have to go into the game against Algeciras with that concentration”
Cordero: “It’s a shame when you prepare for a game with the best of intentions and then concede in the 1st minute against a top division team because it makes the game hard afterwards, even though we didn’t let our heads drop and are very proud, I only have words of praise toward the team. They came out pressing high, we struggled to hold onto the ball and when we found space we took them on, even though we didn’t have many chances. The referee did well, they wasted time and that wasn’t added on, including in the first half. It’s a pleasure to play in front of so many people, hopefully it happens in the league because we’re going to need them. Our goal is promotion, between the squad and the fans, if we perform like this we’ll achieve that.”