Important Point Against a Strong Opponent
Matchday four in the Estadi Nacional d’Andorra against Éder Sarabia’s men. The game was held on Saturday, which forced the team to change their match and travel preparations to change Friday evening and catch the bus to Andorra. After the game on Saturday they will have to spend a night in Barcelona before returning on Sunday and get back to training. Xavi Calm was missing two players for the game in Josep Jaume and Cordero, but Pedro Orfila returned to the matchday squad, as well as Toni Ramón and youth player Santanyí. Calm went with the same starting 11 bar one player as in the previous game against Villarreal B; René, Luca Ferrone, Jesús Álvaro, Olaortua, Delgado, Alfonso, Damián Petcoff, Canario (captain), Hugo, José Fran (change) y Dioni. Vinicius would have to wait for his chance on the bench.
In the first half, the local team came out strong, playing with intensity on the ball, and combining with quick passes. In the 6th minute Martí Vilà, the left back who was dangerous in attack for the whole first half, put in a ball that found Héctor Revel in behind the two centre backs but his header went over. In the 11th minute ATB found a reply with a corner from Canario into the six yard box and Dioni came close to finding the opener. Dioni was the focus again in the 28th minute, linking up with Damián on the edge of the box but the Argentinian’s shot was straight into the hands of debut keeper Josele. The 35th minute saw another great chance for the Balearics. Great team play set up Dioni whose cross to the back post was met on the volley by Jesús Álvaro only to be denied by Josele. In football the situation can change in a second, and it was that way in the 40th minute when Martí Vilà raced to the byline and put in a ball behind for Carlos Martínez to fire in with his left foot. 1-0 on the scoreline at the Estadi Nacional d’Andorra as the teams went in for the break.
After the back, Calm told Vinicius, Armando and Orfila to warm up ready to come on. The team came out swinging and in the 53rd minute got their reward. A great counter attack saw José Fran drive forward and create space for Dioni to get free. The Malagan player only had the keeper to beat and put it away with a calm finish for his fourth of the season. Calm rang the changes, taking off Luca who was on a card for Pedro and José Fran made way for Vini after the equaliser as Calm searched for a winner. The game was then very back and forth. In the 73rd minute René made a fantastic save one on one with Carlos Martínez. Just as ATB started to get on top, the next phase of play saw the second for Andorra with Zourdine scoring from a corner. But ATB would still have the final word. Isi came on for his debut and put in a shift. In the 80th minute Hugo put in a free kick to Vini who saw his header go over. Armando and Vilarrasa were brought on in the last few minutes and they would prove to be decisive. A spectacular team move saw Hugo playing in Ignasi to put in a cross and setting up Vinicius to head in the equaliser in the 84th minute for his first of the season. The game saw several more dangerous moves as both teams went for the win but neither could find a decisive blow.
FC Andorra: 13. Josele, 3. Riera, 7. Héctor Hevel, 10. Carlos Martínez, 11. Marc Fernández, 14. Sergio Molina, 15. Dani Mourier, 16. Zourdine, 18. Diego González, 20. Martí Vilà y 21. Rubén Bover (c).
Atlético Baleares: 13. René, 12. Luca Ferrone (62′ 22. Orfila), 3. Jesús Álvaro (79′. 20. Ignasi Vilarrasa), 4. Olaortua, 5. Carlos Delgado 14. Alfonso (74′ 6. Armando), 21. Damián Petcoff, 10. Canario (C) (79′ 18. Isi), 7. José Fran (62′ 9. Vini), 17. Dioni y 16. Hugo.
Referee: Sergio Escrich
Booked for Andorra: Héctor Revel, Vergés and manager Sarabia.
Booked for ATB: Ferrone, Alfonso, Petcoff and Xavi Ginard.
1-0 Carlos Martínez 40′
1-1 Dioni 53′
2-1 Zourdine 69′
2-2 Vini 84′
Estadi Nacional d’Andorra: 400 espectadores
Calm: “A game that Andorra dominated at the start, which we didn’t want, they had a great orchestrated attack that found a free man… we couldn’t handle them at the start, but both teams were dangerous going forward. They took their chance in the first half and we didn’t manage to. They shouldn’t score from a corner in such an equal game, that either team could have won and was great to watch. We wanted the three points but seeing how the game was, how open it was, I don’t know if I’m happy with a point but I am with the effort.”
José Fran: “I think that as the game was we have earned a good point against a strong team. Not many teams will win here against an Andorra team that works hard, is dynamic and that moves the ball well. We also had chances but they scored after we couldn’t put away the chance from Jesús Álvaro. We brought the ball out well in the second half, we equalised, they scored their second that stunned us a bit but we found a way to get up again and equalise. I feel good, stronger every week and motivated to give my best to help the team”
Ignasi: “It’s an important point because it was away from home and keeps us looking upward. We had to give a lot, because Andorra put the pressure on but the team had the character needed. We have a competitive team, I’m happy with the minutes I had and to help the team. This temperature is better than last week but to play at that altitude you have to adapt a lot.”