Numancia overcome Extremadura (1-0)

A good performance from the Sorianos, who might have scored again to avoid the nervy final minutes

Numancia returned to winning ways once again, after several weeks of disappointing results. They did so by beating Extremadura thanks to Escassi’s solitary thirteenth-minute goal, but the truth is that López Garai’s side deserved a more comfortable win as they missed several good chances –including a penalty that Unai Medina fired into the stands- and the narrow score line had the crowd screaming for the final whistle throughout the four minutes of stoppage time.

Numancia played a good first half. Combining well on the inside, overlapping on the wings, and opened the scoring on 13 minutes after a strategic move. Fran Villalba curled in a free kick from the side and Escassi slid the ball into the net at the far post.

Extremadura had actually started off looking the better side. The visitors had four shots in the first five minutes of the game, which made the Los Pajaritos faithful nervous. It would not continue, though. Numancia began to dominate the ball, the center of the field and the match as a whole, with Escassi adding the necessary intensity.

Numancia’s Malaga-born midfielder dragged the team along with him, not only in the creation of football, but engaging the opponents physically. He won all the 50/50 balls and enabled Fran Villalba and Diamanka to combine well with Nacho and Yeboah on the wings.

Having given a good account of themselves, Numancia went in at the break with just Escassi’s goal to show for their efforts.

The second half continued in much the same vein. Numancia dominated and sought a second goal, but their haste in the final third and their poor finishing meant they were unable to kill the game. The visiting goalkeeper, Álvaro Fernandez, also kept his side in it when he made the save of the day, stopping Nacho’s fizzing shot that ought to have been the hosts’ second goal.

On the hour, Diamanka asked to be substituted as he was carrying a knock, and Pablo Larrea replaced him. Later, Borja Viguera and Alain Oyarzun came on and, although the changes calmed the team down, the goal that would clinch the game was not to come.

Thirteen minutes from time, a handball in the visitors’ area gave the Rojillos a penalty. Unai Medina stepped up to take it but sent the ball high and wide. The game was always Numancia’s, but the inability to score another goal meant they had to keep a clean sheet to earn the three important points and build on the draw they achieved in Pamplona last week.

C.D. Numancia: Juan Carlos, Dani Calvo, Escassi, Higinio (Viguera, m. 70), Nacho, Yeboah (Alain, m. 81), Luis Valcarce, Medina, Atienza, Fran Villalba and Diamanka (Larrea, m. 60).

Extremadura U.D.: Álvaro Fernández, Alex Díez, Pomares, Pardo (Rennella, m. 46), Valverde (Billy Arce, m. 82), Gio Zarfino, Kike Márquez (Álvaro Romero, m. 59), Olabe, Marcelo Djalo, Enric Gallego and Aitor.

Referee: Domínguez Cervantes (Andalusian Committee). Assisted by López López and Bárcena Rodríguez. Yellow cards for Escassi, Numancia and Olabe, Djalo and Enric Gallego, Extremadura.

Goals: 1-0. Minute 13. Escassi.

Los Pajaritos. 3,053 spectators

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