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CRISTIAN STARS ON SUNDAY

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On target again - Cristian Herrera

Elche CF 1 – 0 UD Almeria
Of the three possible results; delight, disappointment or despair, from their high noon showdown with likely relegation rivals Almeria,Elche eventually scrambled over the line to make it the former.

Cristian Herrera, who else ?, did the damage with almost an hour gone to ensure Elche, in spite of their opponents rather fetching away kit, ended up in the pink.

An impeccably observed minutes silence for the late Luis Aragonés preceded hostilities and, truth be told, that was probably the high point of an altogether nondescript first forty five minutes during which neither side produced much of note. Elche, as befits the home side, poked and prodded and went close(ish) with efforts by Carles Gil and Manu del Moral before David Lombán sent a powerful header just over the bar.

From ten or so minutes before the interval, you kind of knew both sides had half an eye on the inevitable half-time dressing room rollocking and so it proved. Goal-less at the break.

The only goal of a not that good a game came thirteen minutes after the resumption when, following good work close in by Javi Márquez, Elche’s young man of the moment, former Ilicitano Herrera, was on hand to convert from outside the box via a huge deflection off the prone Márquez. The goal seemed to settle Elche, but first they had to collectively look sharp to thwart an Almeria side who went in search of an immediate response.

Football is, indeed, a funny old game and for Elche it was ever thus. Missing today was the passing, movement and creativity from their last outing, a heavy defeat away to Real Sociedad from which they had the lions share of both chances and possession. No such luxury today, even though they were easily the better side in a poor game.

A fractious final five minutes, during which the on pitch temperature rose considerably, ended on a sour note for the home side when tempestuous Uruguayan full-back Damián Suárez, previously yellow carded for a stupid and unnecessary hand ball saw yellow again and then red for a clumsy foul on Barbosa who didn’t help matters by going to ground theatrically.

Elche held on, though, and to the immense relief of most of the nearly twenty five thousand present, picked up a priceless three points. Full time Elche 1 – 0 Almeria

Elche XI: Toño; Damián, Botía (75′), Lombán, Albácar; Márquez, Rubén Pérez; Carles Gil, Coro, Manu Del Moral (68′), Cristian Herrera.

Goals: Cristian Herrera (57′)
Subs: Fidel (68′), Pelegrín (75′), Carlos Sánchez (83′)
Yellow Cards: Márquez (48′), Albácar (71′), Rubén Pérez (77′), Damián (84′, 89′ +red)

Almería XI: Esteban; Rafita, Trujillo, Torsiglieri, Mané; Verza, Tébar (63′), Azeez; Suso (63′), Zongo, Aleix Vidal (76′).

Subs: Soriano (63′), Barbosa (63′), Óscar Díaz (76′)
Yellow Cards: Suso (23′), Azeez (39′), Torsiglieri (81′)

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/42469/

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