The Vallecano Ray had to suffer to beat the Girona in Montilivi, but ended up winning with a brace from Sergi Guardiola (1-2), asserting its status as a First Club, and will be in the Copa del Rey quarter-final draw.
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Míchel Sánchez’s team went ahead through Bernardo Espinosa, but Andoni Iraola’s team came back through Guardiola and certified the victory with a saved penalty from Luca Zidane to Cristhian Stuani, in what was the repeat of the final of the last promotion playoff to First.
Rayo, with the victory achieved, is still opting to match its historic ceiling in the Cup, the 1982 semifinals, while Girona, after tuting a Primera, put an end to a streak of five straight wins and will now focus all efforts on fight, one more year, for promotion to the highest category.
The match, as vertical and electric as both teams, began with alternatives in the initiative and control of the ball that soon crystallized in clear scoring chances. In the 15th minute, Luca Zidane, providentially, prevented Arnau Martínez’s goal, after the young defender caught a rebound from the visiting goalkeeper himself with a hard shot from David Juncà.
Colombian goal and comeback
Right after, Isi Palazón responded with a free-kick that crashed into Juan Carlos Martín’s crossbar. Also from a foul, although in the visiting field, Nahuel Bustos brushed the goal with a shot that was poisoned after bouncing off the barrier.
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The 1-0 ended up coming from the back corner, with an accurate header from Bernardo to the center of Borja García (26′).
The Colombian’s goal did not alter the script of the afternoon: both teams continued looking for the rival goal. And Rayo found the equalizer just before the break (45+1′), with a volley by Sergi Guardiola adjusted to the right post by Juan Carlos.
The second act started just as the first ended: with both key Guardiola. In minute 48, a serious error by Ibrahima Kébé led to the 1-2: the number ‘6’ compromised Juan Carlos with a bad drop shot and the goalkeeper’s rebound collided with Guardiola and ended up inside the Catalan goal.
The goal spurred Rayo and cooled down Girona. Míchel turned to Samu Sáiz and the top scorer of the Second Division, Cristhian Stuani, who had the equalizer in his boots in a penalty committed on Bernardo. His shot, and all chances of victory, died in Luca’s gloves, who hit the ball to his right (71′), and the ticket to the quarterfinals ended up traveling to Vallecas.
1 – Girona FC: Juan Carlos; Arnau, Santi Bueno, Bernardo, Juanpe (Pablo Moreno, min. 77), Juncà; Ibrahima Kébé (Gabri, min. 77), Pol Lozano; Borja García (Samu Sáiz, min. 58), Ricard Artero; and Nahuel Bustos (Stuani, min. 58).
2 – Vallecano Ray: Luca; Balliu, Mario Suarez, Catena, Fran Garcia; Óscar (Óscar Trejo, min. 74), Pathé Ciss; Isi, Santi Comesaña, Baby (Andrés, min. 74); and Sergi Guardiola (Falcao, min. 81).
Goals: 1-0, min. 26: Bernard. 1-1 min. 45+1: Sergio Guardiola. 1-2 min. 48: Sergio Guardiola.
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