Solid at the back and sharp upfront. That was the formula with which Ibiza secured its second win of the season this afternoon. The first three points away from Can Misses were secured in San Sebastián de los Reyes. The islanders made good use of their direct style of play (with goals from Javi Lara, by free kick, Rubén, heading a ball after a cross, and Rodado, from the penalty spot), but, above all, left the home side with little to no chances throughout the game. The match against Sanse saw Ibiza keep a clean sheet which is another sign of how the team is building and starting to find its rhythm and strength.
Ibiza controlled play very well in the first half. Pablo Alfaro’s men took to the newly laid surface at the Matapiñonera with a clear mission and objective to dictate play and so they did. Javi Lara and Javi Pérez, playing on the wing and interchanging positions frequently, showed early signs of creating danger for the home side. Sanse was happy to sit back and try to catch Ibiza on the break using the skill and pace of Achille Emana.
The best chances, however, fell to the away team. After a Mariano header and a long-range effort from Fran Grima, it was Javi Pérez who came close to the opening goal. Ibiza’s number ’17’ found space to fire a shot to test Xabi Irureta, Sanse’s keeper. The effort, however, just went wide. Nevertheless, it definitely was a sign of things to come. First, it was Rodado whose shot went over the bar before Javi Lara found the opener for an Ibiza side who was pressing to take the lead.
In what will most likely be one of the goals of the round, the Cordoba born magician produced a spectacular free kick to punish Sanse. The first half came to a close shortly after Lara was celebrated by his teammates on the sidelines after scoring a sublime goal.
Ibiza came out of the changing rooms to start the second half full of intent. Rubén González, who during preseason already showed his abilities to score goals, once again proved that he can be lethal in front of goal. In the 47th minute, he had the instinct to make his way to the far post of the Sanse goal to meet a perfectly delivered cross by Morillas from the left-hand side.
Despite being two goals up, the rest of the match was anything but easy. Ibiza had to defend solidly and withstand the building pressure and efforts shown by the red and white home side. After all, the local team had nothing to lose any more and threw everything it had towards the Ibiza goal. Pablo Alfaro gave his team a new set of fresh legs by introducing Fran Carbia and Toni Arranz for Cirio and Lara, respectively, who left the pitch to the sounds of appreciative chants by a good number of Ibiza fans who made the trip to Madrid.
Those substitutions helped Ibiza regain energy and composure which resulted in a renewed spell of dominance by the away team. The introduction of Arranz as a pivot allowed Nunez and Javi Pérez to become more involved in the attacking half of the pitch. A brilliant pass by Arranz saw Rodado alone in front of keeper Irureta who produced a stellar save in a one on one duel.
Ibiza’s number ‘9’ did not want to board the plane without scoring another goal after his previous strike last weekend. With that determination and confidence in mind, it was Rodado who stepped up to take the penalty which was given in Ibiza’s favour after Javi Pérez had been brought down in the Sanse box. Producing an expert finish to drill the ball into the back of the net put Ibiza ahead by three goals and put the seal on a deserved victory for Pablo Alfaro’s men.
The squad’s attention is now directed towards next Sunday’s home fixture at Can Misses. Visiting the island will be Pontevedra as part of the fourth round.