Feeling Champion - Generelo scored the title securing goal

Elche 1 RM Castilla 1
Although Elche are already promoted back to La Liga after 24 years in the Segunda Division, with three games to go they still needed a point to be promoted as champions. Well, they got it on Sunday as a result of this draw with Real Madrid’s ‘B’ team, RM Castilla.

Shrewd Illicitano coach Fran Escriba used the opportunity to give one or two reserves the chance of a game, goalkeeper Diego Rivas had his first outing of the season, Flano deputised at full back for the suspended Suarez, and upfront Pelayo started in place of top scorer Coro, otherwise Elche as expected.

A good crowd turned out in the sun, in carnival mood with a sea of bright green and white, happy families everywhere to see their heroes become deserved Champions after this fantastic season.

As usual though, the opposition hadn’t read the script as Elche huffed and puffed in the first half, but got nowhere and steadily the visitors’ confidence increased until on the half hour they went ahead. A simple exchange of passes on the right found Fabino who easily scored past Rivas.

Oh, dear, that was how it stayed at half-time – party-poopers!

Elche came out for the second half in more determined mood and the visitors began to backpedal. A foul on the wide right gave dead ball specialist Albacar a chance with his deadly left foot and his inswinger was headed over by a panicky defence.

From the resultant corner captain Generelo – I always said he was good (I don’t…) – powered his header into the corner to equalise for ecstatic home relief – cue celebrations!

‘Campeones, Campeones’ rang round the ground, followed by Mexican waves and the usual insults to local rivals Hercules (mandatory). RM Castilla then played their part for the rest of the match and didn’t really look like scoring, although the Franjiverdes went close, which would have really wrapped it all up.

No matter, the point was made, literally and that was all that was needed for this season to go down in Spanish football history as the one where Elche, after several hugely-disappointing seasons that promised so much, and failed, have finally done it in style, and with two games to go are worthy champions.

Next week it’s away to Sabadell, but – who cares? ELCHE ARE CHAMPIONS!

Mucho Elche!

Photos Kevin Rendall

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/39153/

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