In stifling conditions, Unión Deportiva Ibiza showed just what it will take to compete at a high level during the forthcoming season. On the natural grass pitch at the Cracks football academy, our side took on the reserves of Villarreal Club de Fútbol on Wednesday morning. The friendly match ended in a two-all draw.
It was a match of extremes. Not only because of the high temperatures (or the much needed drink breaks in each half), but also because of the way the match unfolded. Two minutes into the encounter, Ángel Rodado –who made his return after overcoming an injury– got on the end of a an attacking piece of play orchestrated by Sibo and Fran Carbia. Getting on top of a loose ball in the box, Rodado was quick to react and put the ball away, breaking the deadlock early on.
Following the goal was a period of domination by Ibiza which lasted for thirty minutes. The men dressed in black (amongst them Javi Lara who made his Ibiza debut) began to string together a series of solid and controlled passes in a highly dynamic style of play but failed to create clear cut chances. As a result, it was Villarreal B who with Adrián Riera began to create their first chances of the match. Building on this, it was Mukwelle Madzey Akale who made the biggest of impacts just before the break. The number 8 of the groguets, of extreme pace, powered his way into the Ibiza box and scored the equaliser by beating Lucas.
Pablo Alfaro made several changes to his line-up at half-time, and did so again thirty minutes into the second half. Shortly before that, Raí made sure that Villarreal B knew that Ibiza was not going to go away without a fight. Ibiza’s second goal came not long after. Mariano, who had just come on, rose the highest to meet the ball in full flight. Machuca provided the perfect delivery for the Argentinean to drive his header into the net.
Scoring the 2-2 equaliser gave Ibiza the impetus to search for the winning goal, but it was not to be. Jorge Chanza, replacing Lucas Anacker to finish the last part of the match, then made sure the scoreline would not end in the opposition’s favour. It was he who saved a José Castaño spot kick from eleven metres.
It was another great test of very high quality for an Ibiza side who already has its sights set on its next encounter against Club Deportivo Castellón this coming Sunday.