Almost There!

Real Mallorca are on the verge of qualifying for the playoffs for promotion to La Liga . They need three points from their remaining three games. Even a draw in the next game away at Deportivo La Coruna on Monday 27th May will be sufficient if Oviedo don’t win at Tenerife the day before.

They overcame Almeria last Sunday 19th May with a single goal victory in a tense and nervy game. The visitors had a legitimate claim for a penalty after only 7 minutes but apart from that they posed little threat. Mallorca’s Croatian striker Ante Budimir had two golden chances shortly after that but was unable to convert either. Budimir has hit a lean patch in terms of goal scoring but his general play is of the highest level and is a  firm favourite with the fans. Head coach Vicente Moreno has kept faith with him and is likely to do so until the end of the season.  Aridai then hit the post with a stunning shot and should have opened the scoring but couldn’t hit the target when clean through on the visitors goalkeeper. 

The islanders main threat came down the left flank with Lago Junior ably supported by  Estupiñan who was making a comeback after six weeks absence with a ligament injury. 

After the interval Aridai missed another chance when through on goal. He is an immensely talented winger but doesn’t rise to the occasion when needed. 

Almeria, like most visiting sides to the Son Moix Stadium, targeted Lago Junior for some rough treatment and on 55 minutes defender Montoro was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for bringing down Lago. Moreno threw Abdon Prats into the fray to add more striking power.  The decisive goal came in the 75th minute. Lago was brought down on the edge of the area and Salva Sevilla, the silver fox, curled an unstoppable free kick into the top corner.  

Before kick off Sevilla received an award on the pitch for the best player in the month of April in the Spanish second tier. The veteran midfielder is carrying his team into the play offs and a swansong in La Liga next season would be a fitting end to his career. 

There were a number of special guests at the game including Vicente Engonga and Lauren who were members of the Mallorca team that played in the final of the  European Cup Winners Cup 20 years ago. Their appearance brought back many happy memories of that cup run including a victory in Palma over Chelsea. The current Mallorca team are capable of providing many more happy memories for the fans.