A great test match in La Nucía. Unión Deportiva Ibiza may have lost the friendly to Elche Club de Fútbol, but it more than held its own against the green and white side. The team from the Second Division A ran out winners thanks to goals from Nino, its solid captain, in the first half (17′), and a Nuke Mfulu header after the break (67′).
The Ibizans took to the Camilo Cano stadium to provide a real contest to its opponents. In the second minute of the encounter, Javi Pérez nearly produced an epic start for his side with a long-range effort. Two minutes later, a strong challenge by César on Kike López produced the first caution of the match. It was evident that the match had found its rhythm. Ibiza was looking comfortable until Nino made his mark. With the ball at his feet and in his natural habitat, the box, he put his side in the lead and left Germán and Gonzalo with no opportunity to prevent the goal.
Ibiza did not hold back, however, and it was Raí who provided the positive movement for his side. First, he tested Elche’s goalkeeper San Román with a shot. Later, he provided a timely cross for striker Cirio. His third involvement came in the form of an attacking piece of play on the right: Raí dribbled and put in a weighted cross which led to a corner.
In the second half, Kike López was close to scoring with a fierce shot that narrowly missed the post. It was the clearest of occasions Ibiza had in the second half in which all nine players who started on the bench played their part, including Sibo’s first game. Lucas Anacker replaced Germán and produced several fine saves.
Despite the scoreboard’s key statistic suggesting otherwise, Ibiza looked in good shape and lively throughout the match. The Sky Blues (once again dressed in black) ended a high intensity match by putting pressure on the ball and trying to reduce the gap on the board at all times. It was not meant to be, however, yet the accumulative experience and competitiveness gained from a high-quality encounter will serve the team well ahead of its first official match in just over three weeks’ time.