Real Mallorca continued to complete a perfect pre-season, five games five victories, the latest on Sunday evening when they defeated French Ligue 1 side Brest from Brittany 1-2.
The modest Gallic side were a weekend ahead of us in pre-season training as their league starts this coming weekend but we were easily the better team in front of 5,000 local fans.
With goalkeeper / captain Manolo Reina left in Palma with a muscle strain and newly signed Slovakian back-up “goalie” Dominik Greif still missing with the same problem, it was down to rookie third choice Leo Roman to take his place in goal.
The B team stopper had precious little to do but did make one decent save from a poor Brest attack.
Mallorca coach Luis Garcia Plaza opted to play Baba and Salva Sevilla in the engine room with a much-improved Jordi Mboula and Lago Junior down the wings and the formula worked for the first half. The alarm bells rang on the 20 minute mark when captain for the night Antonio Raillo went down injured. After lengthy treatment he came back on but minutes later he went down again and was substituted by Franco Russo. It remains to be seen what the extent of the injury is, but it looked like another muscular problem, the scourge of pre-season!
Mallorca had taken the lead in the 11th minute. A sweet move between Dani Rodriguez and Save Seville saw Mboula being brought down in the box by the home goalkeeper. The French referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Salva duly slotted home the opener from 11 meters, 0-1, and it stayed that way at half time.
Most of the eleven that LGP had sent out in the first half were replaced after the break as our fluidity dropped a notch and we began to give the ball away too often.
A defensive slip allowed Brest back into the game in the 62nd minute after a clear foul on Febas went unpunished, 1-1. It seemed that the game which had more tension than “friendliness” was beginning to get out of control with tackles flying in from all angles. Then a 71st minute free kick from Joan Sastre saw Mollejo get a touch and it was 1-2.
Towards the end Febas went in hard and was lucky to stay on the pitch. Gizzard got involved and he went flying which enraged both benches and a melee developed. Whatever happened to “entente cordiale“?
The referee did the right thing and called proceedings to a halt exactly on the 90th minute mark.
Tomorrow night we’ll play our penultimate friendly away at Huesca, kick off 19:00. Then on Saturday night it’s Cagliari in the City of Palma trophy.
Later today or even tomorrow we should hear a response from the sporting / health ministry regarding the number of fans allowed in for our first La Liga game against Real Betis a week on Saturday, August 14 at 8 pm.
With 13,000 season tickets sold, we may be only allowed 2,500 fans in the Son Moix but the club is moderately optimistic about this number being expanded considerably. What is still unknown, however, is the criteria that the club will use to select those who will have access. For the Cagliari game, the number of fans allowed in does not have to be the same as the number who will witness the opening league match seven days later.
The search for a No. 9 is almost over and it’s been reported the club have offered 3.5 million euros for Nigerian international striker, 29-year-old, 6ft 6in Simeon “Simy” Nwankwo (a name to conjure up a few innuendos amongst today’s social media trolls!).
He has just scored 20 goals at Italian club Crotone, a record for a relegated side. He played alongside Ante Budimir and is what’s described as a “benchmark striker”Which is just the profile sports director Pablo Ortells wants, and especially the coach.
Other names being mentioned are prolific Greek striker Giorgios Giakumakis playing in second division Dutch football and Jonas Wind, a 22-year-old Danish international from FC Copenhagen.