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1-0: Almeria ‘B’ do not hold out much hope of automatic promotion

The young Rojiblancos suffer a defeat to Antequera after scoring an own goal. Mancha Real are nine points ahead of Almeria ‘B’

Only a miracle could make the UD Almería ‘B’ team progress to Segunda Division RFEF via automatic promotion by the end of the mini-league for promotion. It was a narrow defeat for the homegrown players in Antequera after scoring an own goal. After the victory of Mancha Real, Almeria ‘B’ are now nine points behind the second automatic promotion place and they still have a game in hand to take in. The fact that the Jaen-based side’s goal difference is better, even though both teams have the same goal average, means that the youngsters from Almeria will not only have to improve their performance but also their numbers to face the play-offs by moving up to third place with the home-field advantage.

El Maulí ground is a difficult place to win. From the first minutes, it was obvious that the game was destined to be highly competitive. In fact, countless duels took place over the first half, although without creating too many goal-scoring opportunities; Antequera had the clearest chance through Joselito with keeper Wellington blocking his shot.

Both teams continued to be evenly-matched after the break. The Almeria Academy youth squad dug in to get closer to the automatic promotion zone, however, the hosts took advantage of this to find spaces in order to take the lead. With 67 minutes on the clock, Ricardo Carvalho did his very best to avert danger, but the ball ended up inside his own goal (1-0).

Fernando Santos ‘Nandinho’ then made some changes up front. Sergio Sanchís and Juan Manuel Gutiérrez came on as Cristian Olivera and Raúl Caballero had done not long ago. With Almería ‘B’ focused on their attacking game, Antequera nearly pulled the second back.

The defeat of Almería ‘B’ plus the victory of Mancha Real place the Academy hopefuls 9 points away from automatic promotion, having those points at stake with one more game to be played. Mancha Real have a better goal difference, so the young Rojiblancos’ hopes to move into a higher league through automatic promotion have now been dashed. At the same time, the UD Almeria second-team have slipped to fifth, a place that would force them to get the best possible results if they want to guarantee promotion and compete in the play-offs for the third place.

Match facts:

Antequera CF: Iván; Carlos Jiménez, Joselillo (Narbona, 80’), Joaquín (Aguilar, 89’), Corbacho (Juanmi, 89’), Crespo (Luismi, 62’), Portillo, Sergio Díaz, Rafa, Mauro and Sergio García (Fran, 80’).

UD Almería ‘B’: Wellington; Vertiz; Manu Pedre, Ricardo Carvalho, Fermín, Aitor Puñal, Robles (Juan Manuel Gutiérrez, 74’), Siles (Sergio Sanchís, 74’), Jean Marco (Cristian Olivera, 66’), Dani Albiar (Tomás, 52’) and Jordi Escobar (Raúl Caballero, 66’).

Goal: 1-0, 67’: Ricardo Carvalho (own goal)

Referee: Alberto Sevillano Marín, from the Cadiz Referees School. He booked Sergio García, Corbacho and Narbona from the home team, as well as Dani Albiar, Robles and Tomás, from Almería ‘B’.

Observations: 4th match. Mini-league for promotion to Segunda Division RFEF. The game took place at the El Maulí ground (Antequera) and was attended by approximately 300 fans.