The differences between the First Division’s leading teams are now more pronounced in the play-off title and excitement is building. Yesterday’s tie between the leader, Matecosa UE Sant Julià and FC Lusitans La Posa meant that the second team, Pidasa FC Santa Coloma, who won in extremis the Santa Coloma duel, closed the gap between the two teams and left them one point behind the leader. Lusitans remain in third place at twelve points, four points behind the leader, with just four matches left.
First match of the Andorran League directed by three Catalan referees
The three Catalan referees for the match between Matecosa and Lusitans La Posa usually whistle in the 3rd Catalan Division. The impressive display by the Catalan referees throughout the match – communicating between themselves via microphones and headsets-, were fruit of the accord signed months ago between the Andorran Football Federation and the Catalan Football Federation in regards to the exchange of referees.
The leader saves a point with a goal in the 75th minute
Sant Julià and Lusitans played an intense match in which the two teams had scoring opportunities. While the first half was highly disputed, Vicenç Marquès’ men advanced the scoreboard with Luis Miguel Dos Reis in the 28th minute. In the second half, Matecosa had greater control over the ball but they were only able to tie the score when the ball was dead, with a play by Carlos Jacques just fifteen minutes before the end. Lusitans’ defence was careful to block attempts by Maxi, Gonçalves and the always dangerous, Seba Gómez, who tried to break their lines from every angle. In regards to Lusitans, Dos Reis and Raya were the team’s protagonists on three fourths of the field and were constantly under Luis Filipe Pinto’s control, who with Cardoso’s help, attempted to score from the halfway line.
The first warning took place in the 11th minute, with a play in the right lane by Quim which culminated in a center shot to the second post and a cross shot by Gonçalves which collided with the crossbar. After thirty minutes of play, Lusitans scored their goal in a second play. Pinto sent a corner shot from the left and Perianes blocked it with his fists, but Dos Reis rebound the shot into the goal area. Unfortunately, Sant Julià’s defence tried to block it but accidentally sent it into the net. Before the break, goalkeeper, Andrés saved his team from a possible tie when he blocked Maxi’s attempt to score.
Julio Ferreros’ men were superior in the second half
Sant Julià dominated the second half but they faced a very serious rival. Lusitans, overwhelmed, were only a threat to the other team in their counter attacks. Sebas Gómez tried to enter from all angles but defence stole his opportunities. It was not until the 75th minute that Jacques was able to bring the score to a tie. Quim shot the ball from the right corner and Jacques entered from midfield, overcoming Andrés and scoring with a headshot. Later, Gómez sent the ball to the post in the 76th minute, Gonçalves before being substituted sent a shot that glided past the crossbar and goalkeeper Andrés blocked a direct front shot by Quim Salvat. Finally Iguacel, who had entered the match in the 80th minute, held the victory in his hands one minute before the end. Varela entered from the left lane and sent a death pass to Iguacel who unexplainably, although alone in front of the goalkeeper, sent the ball over the crossbar. In the end the team lost their advantage to the other teams with the redistribution of points.
Pidasa wins in extremis in the Santa Coloma duel
The Santa Coloma duel provided equal opportunities for Pidasa FC Santa Coloma and Escale UE Santa Coloma. The two teams were unable to score during the first half. In regards to Escale, Aloy, who was able to overcome the other team’s defence, made a mistake with two shots that went astray in the 4th and 43rd minutes and Rodrigo sent the ball high in the sky from the penalty area. In the second half, goalkeeper Rivas blocked a head shot by Alejandro in the 67th minute, but in the 88th minute he was unable to block the match’s only goal which determined the winner.
In regards to the relegation play-offs, it is almost certain that Inter d’Escaldes and CE Principat, who tied 0-0 in Alàs, will remain. Inter d’Escaldes were unable to advance the scoreboard in a maximum penalty, but Ribeiro, the player who made the foul shot, watched as Principat’s Roberto skilfully blocked it in the 52nd minute.
Changes among the tail end of the rankings
FC Encamp achieved a well-earned victory against FC Casa Benfica with a 3-2 score, and they are no longer in last place in the First Division. Encamp’s goals were by Martín (2) and Izquierdo.