December 2, 2012
Mallorca snatch late draw
Victor Casadesus made up for his first-half penalty miss with an 86th-minute goal that gave Real Mallorca a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw against 10-man Real Zaragoza.
The clash exploded into life in the 13th minute when the islanders were awarded a spot-kick after Emilio Nsue was hauled down by Glenn Loovens, who picked up his second booking, although Victor saw his effort from 12 yards parried to safety by Zaragoza keeper Roberto Jimenez.
In a stunning twist, the visitors then took a shock lead in the 16th minute after Helder Postiga profited from loose defending and it seemed they would hang on after Mallorca missed several gilt-edged chances to level after the interval.
But Victor atoned for his miss by powerfully heading into the net late on to rescue a point for the hosts.
A relatively quiet opening was punctured when Nsue latched onto a flick on to break in to the area before being brought down by Zaragoza defender Loovens' lunging challenge from behind in the 13th minute.
The visitors' misery was then compounded when the Dutchman, having already been cautioned in the second minute for his cynical challenge on Victor, was given his second booking.
There was some debate over who would take the penalty and although Victor won the argument, Zaragoza keeper Roberto guessed right to superbly palm the 27-year-old's low drive out for a corner.
It was to prove a crucial miss as Zaragoza surprisingly took the lead three minutes later.
Mallorca's defenders failed to clear Antonio Apono's free-kick into the area and Postiga, whose participation had been in doubt due to a head injury, took full advantage to round keeper Dudu Aouate and slot home.
It was Zaragoza's first sight of goal although they were nearly pegged back straight away and only a crucial block from Alvaro denied Nsue's goalbound effort.
The hosts could not take advantage of their one-man advantage thereafter and failed to craft anything meaningful despite dominating possession.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Zaragoza seemed content to sit back and defend but their goal was nearly breached on the hour mark when Tomer Hemed somehow missed the target with his header from Michael Pereira's cross.
Another superb block from Alvaro prevented Nsue from levelling matters while Roberto kept his side ahead with a magnificent save to deny Jose Nunes' powerful header, with the same player missing the target from the resulting corner.
The visitors continued to invite pressure on themselves but their backline was finally breached four minutes from time when Victor headed Giovani Dos Santos' cross from the left past the despairing Roberto.
It was the least they deserved and while Mallorca pressed for a winner, Zaragoza held firm.