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Thanks for everything, Villarreal B! (2-1)
Thanks for everything, Villarreal B! (2-1)


The Yellows Reserves fall just short of promotion to LaLiga 123 despite beating Elche at home

A heroic comeback was needed, it was deserved, but not quite accomplished. The Villarreal B team fell just short of promotion to LaLiga 123 despite beating Elche 2-1 at home in the third and final play-off tie. Miguel Álvarez’s side had to make a comeback from their 2-0 loss in the first leg and had the chances to do so. Plenty of them. Both goals for the Yellows were scored by Rubén Mesa. Benja scored for Elche. 

The Mini Submarine went out all guns blazing, knowing that they needed three goals to achieve their objective. The chances soon followed for the Yellows. One after the other. Pau and Raba both came close to scoring before it was actually the visitors who took the lead against the run of play. Benja headed the ball past Ander from a corner kick (0-1, m. 14).

The Yellows Reserves reacted courageously. They now needed four goals to win promotion and they went all out in search of them. Rubén Mesa almost equalised in the 21st minute with a strike from the right that hit the crossbar twice.

Villarreal B were going for it. Mesa had another chance that José Juan cleared and Samu’s shot went over the bar. It was hard to believe that the Reserves were losing 0-1. Even more so when Rubén Mesa struck the woodwork again, this time with a shot across goal that hit the far post. Really bad luck. Shortly after it was Morlanes’ turn, who shot but could not beat the Elche keeper either.

The equaliser came in the 43rd minute. Samu found his way into the box on the right and crossed the ball to Rubén Mesa and the number 9 made no mistake this time, firing the ball past José Juan. The ball went in off the underside of the crossbar.

The Yellow onslaught continued in the second half and got stronger when Elche were left with 10 men after Provencio was sent off for his second yellow card of the game (m. 74).

Miguel Álvarez made his subs with the comeback at the front of his mind by putting on three strikers. One of those, Adrià Dalmau, almost made it 2-1 in the 77th minute, but after some brilliant individual play his shot went over. It was the same result for Simón Moreno, as his effort was also off target.

Rubén Mesa did score a second, but that was in injury time. The centre forward put away a loose ball in the box to make 2-1 late on. There was not enough time left though.

It wasn’t to be. Thanks for an unforgettable season, Villarreal B.


Villarreal B: Cantero; Miguelón, Roger, Pau, Quintillà; Imanol, Morlanes (Dalmau, m. 59); Samu, Raba, Leo Suárez (Mario González, m. 66 (Simón Moreno, m. 72)); and Rubén Mesa.

Elche CF: José Juan; Tekio, Verdú, Neyder, Manu Rodríguez; Manolo, Provencio, Javi Flores (Jony, m. 75), Iván Sánchez (Josan, m. 61); Nino (Redru, m. 80) and Benja.

Goals: 0-1. Min. 14: Benja. 1-1. Min. 43: Rubén Mesa. 2-1. Min. 92: Rubén Mesa.

Referee: Lax Franco. Cautioned: Imanol for Villarreal; Manolo, Javi Flores, José Juan and Verdú for Elche. Sent off: Provencio (m. 74).

Match Information: Match corresponding to the second leg of the third round of the play-offs for promotion to LaLiga 123 played at the Mini Estadi in front of 2,700 fans.