As the town of Torrevieja celebrates Holy Week, the team of Torrevieja resurrected it’s play-off hopes with a clinical second half performance against CF Cullera.
Spanish, Russian, Norwegian, Swedish, Belgian, Dutch and British all turned out together to create on of the atmospheres of the season at the Vicente Garcia and Pedreno’s attack minded side did not disappoint those hoping to enjoy their first outing to the stadium. There was just one change from Sunday’s frustrating 0-0 draw at Requena, Borja starting ahead of Burguillos to add, in theory, some creativity in midfield.
As the sun set over the ground, Torrevieja set about Cullera and dominated the opening ten minutes without creating a great deal. An early in-swinging cross from Adrian was palmed away. The intensity and work rate was high, but the quality was lacking and it was Cullera who created the first half chance of the game. Ruben failed to deal with his opponent who skipped past him before shooting just wide. Torrevieja tried to step it up a gear and Cristian was getting the chance to run at people, sixteen minutes were gone when he ghosted past two and put his shot wide of the near post. He switched over to the right wing and beat the Cullera left back with ease before, again, shooting wide of the near post. At this stage, it looked like the only way a goal was going to come was from a moment of individual skill or a mistake.
Sure enough, it was a mistake that led to the game’s first goal. Vicente, keen as ever to get forward from his right back role, received the ball on his chest from a sweeping cross field pass by Adrian. He brought it down beautifully, but his second touch let him down meaning his pass was then hurried and misplaced. Cullera broke at once, and fifteen seconds later the ball was nestled in the far corner of Oscar’s net, via a deflection off the boot of Ruben. It was a goal against the run of play after thirty two minutes.
Just after the re-start Borja was replaced by Juanra, Borja holding his hamstring. It was tough for the midfielder having been in and out of the team of late, but he had been unable to stamp any kind of authority on the game and his best contribution turned out to be making way for the tall, languid style of Juanra. Two minutes later Juanra released Cesar who dribbled at speed in the inside left position. Adrian made a great supporting run from left back drawing a defender out of position. Cesar had the presence of mind to ignore Adrian and spotted Carrasco making a clever run into the area and picked him out with an outside-of-the-boot curling pass that oozed with class. Carrasco got the merest of flicks on the ball and guided it past Cullera’s wrong-footed goalkeeper. The sides would go in level at the break.
The second-half was incredibly one-sided and Torrevieja have found a player that could well change the direction of their season. In Juanra they have a player that looks like he should be a midfield destroyer, but now given the chance to see what he can do it was clear to see that appearances can be deceptive. He took the second-half by the scruff of the neck and decided that he was going to run it, always looking to get on the ball, always looking to thread clever little passes into the runners ahead of him, always looking to keep the tempo of the game high. It was a truly brilliant midfield performance and he has to be told that the shirt is his for the rest of the season.
Fifty four minutes were on the clock when Adrian was released down the left. The overlapping full back crossed in the perfect ball for Cesar who, back-pedalling, was able to place his header into the far corner. This all proved to be too much for the Cullera manager who was sent to the stands ten minutes later for an exchange of verbal’s with anyone that would listen. Torrevieja moved through the gears, Cristian went on another mazy run and fired another left-footed shot wide of the target. Carrasco got his angles wrong following a great ball in by Vicente, determined to make up for his earlier error.
The on looking spectators had to wait until the final ten minutes to see more goals. In the eighty-third minute Carrasco linked up with Cesar, who rolled his man beautifully to get to the byline. He picked out Cristian who arrived in the box and this time his slightly tame shot with his weaker foot slipped under the body of the Cullera goalkeeper. 3-1 Torrevieja and the game looked safe. Pedreno immediately substituted Cristian to give the returning Rafa Gomez some game time. Rafa was involved at once, forcing two saves in quick succession, but it was Brani who was able to claim the final goal of the game and CD Torrevieja’s fourth. The Croatian picked up the ball twenty-five yards out and hit the literal daisy-cutter into the corner.
The game finished 4-1 and although the man-of-the-match award was given to the tireless Carrasco, it had to be close between him, Cesar and Juanra. With the gap between CD Torrevieja and a play-off spot now only three points, all eyes have to be on Sunday’s game with UD Benigánim.