• Marti

Ünal penalty earns share of the points

LA LIGA SANTANDER ROUND 31

ESTADIO JOSÉ ZORRILLA, VALLADOLID, SPAIN

REAL VALLADOLID 1

Enes Ünal 45 + 5’ (Pen)

GETAFE 1

Jaime Mata 41’

Fan-favourite Jaime Mata was welcomed back to the Estadio José Zorrilla on Tuesday and the former Pucela striker did what he did best, finding the net, as Real Valladolid and Getafe played out a tense draw. Mata scored with four minutes left to play in regulation time of the first half, but a penalty awarded to the hosts in stoppage time before the break was dispatched by Enes Ünal to draw his side level.

José Bordolás brought his Getafe side to Valladolid occupying fifth place in the table and chasing Champions League qualification, as the Azulones continue to defy expectations. However, the going had been tougher of late with just one win in their last seven league matches and that came at struggling Real Mallorca in March by way of a 1-0 victory. Nonetheless, the team from south of Madrid had proved on numerous occasions to be a potent attacking outfit and had recorded a 2-0 win over Pucela earlier in the season at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez.

Real Valladolid captain Javi Moyano looks evade Getafe midfielder Marc Cucurella (Image: Real Valladolid)

Real Valladolid had, as they often do, experienced a mixed bag of form in their return to action following the league hiatus. A narrow 2-1 win over lowly Leganés was swiftly followed up by a 0-0 draw at home to Celta, then a cruel late loss by a solitary goal at Atlético on Saturday as the matches come thick and fast.

As was so often the case during his time in a white and violet shirt, Jaime Mata hit the back of the net on familiar soil. He struck to put his side 1-0 to the good after left-back Mathias Olivera had sent in a cross from the left. The talismanic striker flicked the ball on towards fellow forward Hugo Duro, who was being closely marked by Joaquín, but he tumbled in the box as Rubén Alcaraz came across to clear. Jordi Masip raised his hands to protest his teammate's innocence, but Mata reacted quickest to the loose ball - and the goalkeeper's momentary lapse of concentration - to rifle low in the corner. His celebration was, as expected, muted; holding his hands together in an almost apologetic matter as he turned towards the empty Fondo Norte, the stand behind Masip's goal which is usually home to the most animated Pucela fans, who once voiced such vociferous support for the striker who netted 33 league goals to become Pichichi of the Segunda during their successful promotion season of 2017-18.

Miguel challenges Getafe captain Djené for possession (Image: Real Valladolid)

The hitman almost doubled Getafe's advantage moments later. A short corner from Djené to Marc Cucurella saw the former Barcelona and Eibar midfielder planting an in-swinging delivery onto the head of Xabier Etxeita. It subsequently fell through a crowded penalty area to Mata, but he was off-balance as he struck the ball and it squeezed narrowly past Masip's right-hand post.

In a flash, the match turned on it's head. Deep into stoppage time at the end of the initial 45 minutes, the ball was lofted into the Getafe penalty box and Djené got the better of Ünal in an aerial challenge but the visiting captain was ruled to have used his arm across the face of his opponent as Ünal crumpled to the ground. It was perhaps a harsh decision on the visitors and further salt was rubbed into the wound when the Turkish striker stepped up and dispatched the spot kick with aplomb, sending David Soria the wrong way.

Mata continued to be a thorn in the side of Real Valladolid during the second half. Left-back Damian Suárez's throw-in found Nyom and his beat flick played in Mata, who shielded the ball well from Joaquín before turning and dinking the ball neatly over the outstretched Masip only to see his effort clip the crossbar.

Not to be outdone, Ünal threatened the Getafe goal in response. After running onto a long pass, he tried to guide a low angled drive past Soria as Djené closed him down, but the keeper stretched himself to his full extent to palm the ball wide for a corner. From the resulting set-piece, Toni Villa sent in a left-footed, out-swinging corner which found it’s way through the maze of bodies in the penalty area where Ünal and Kiko Olivas converged. As they both attempted to play the same ball, the defender appeared to inadvertently take it off the toe of the Turkish striker – who may well have been in a better position to score – to stab the ball wide of the mark much to the anguish of the duo.

Enes Ünal celebrates his equaliser with Sergi Guardiola and Fede San Emeterio (Image: Real Valladolid)

Neither side were able to find the net in the remainder of the match – substitute Jason coming closest with a free-kick for the visitors which whizzed narrowly past Masip’s goal and hit the stanchion of the net – and the points were shared. This was perhaps a better point for Real Valladolid than it was for Getafe and Bordalás was unable to conceal his anger in the post-match press conference at the awarding of the penalty for the hosts.

Real Valladolid travel south for a tricky encounter with Sevilla at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán on Friday, while Getafe have six days to prepare for welcoming Real Sociedad in their next match.

REAL VALLADOLID (4-4-2): Jordi Masip; Nacho, Mohammed Salisu, Joaquín, Javi Moyano (Capt.), Toni Villa (Pablo Hervías 60'), Fede San Emeterio (Kiko Olivas 72'), Rubén Alcaraz, Óscar Plano (Kike 92'), Sergi Guardiola (Miguel 72'), Enes Ünal.

Substitutes unused: José Antonio Caro; Javi Sánchez, Antoñito, Diego Alende, Hatem Ben Arfa, Matheus Fernandes.

GETAFE (4-4-2): David Soria; Mathias Olivera, Xabier Etxeita, Djené (Capt.), Damian Suárez, Marc Cucurella (Francisco Portillo 83’), Mauro Arambarri, Nemanja Maksimovic (Jason 83’), Allan Nyom (Jorge Molina 64’), Hugo Duro (Ángel Rodríguez 71’), Jaime Mata (David Timor 84’).

Substitutes unused: Leandro Chichizola; Chema, Amath Ndiaye, Faycal Fajr, Florent Poulolo.

Referee: Cesar Soto