Monday 24th April 2023
Mike Smith with Xàbia AL DÍA
Great determination, crunching tackles, a spectacular winning goal and a half-time show. It was the perfect Sunday evening of football at the Campo d’Esports Municipal as CD Jávea carved out a 2-1 win over CD Olímpic de Xàtiva to put themselves within a point of the top eight. Four games remain – two at home and two away – and if the side continue with the same level of passion, then the rojiblancos might just have turned this season around to conclude in the most spectacular fashion.
Before the match, the two teams and refereeing team created a corridor to welcome the cadete team of Ukrainian side FC Barsa Sumy onto the pitch with great applause and both sides then posed for photos with the youngsters. Just before the kick-off, a minute of silence was well observed for all the victims of the war in Ukraine.
Some 500 fans answered the call to turn out and become CD Jávea’s 12th man. However, it was a nervy start both on and off the pitch as CD Olímpic looked to impose themselves on the game right from the start. Stuttering in fourth spot, just outside the play-offs, the club from Xàtiva was looking for an immediate return to the Third Division after suffering relegation last season. And their owners were demanding it, having replaced their head coach earlier in the week, and that almost certainly meant that players would raise their games to impress.
Olímpic’s Rueda was proving to be handful for the home defence and he had a succession of opportunities in the opening ten minutes. Having forced a corner in the 9th minute, he send over a high cross which Tonet uncharacteristically fumbled but José Cabo was on hand to hoof the ball away to safety. It would be keeper’s only mistake of the game for he was to produce another top performance.
On the quarter hour mark, the visitor’s smashed the ball into the back of the net but it was clearly offside and the furious flag-waving by the referee’s assistant on the far side confirmed it. A few minutes’ later, Tonet punched away a dangerous cross from Fuster at full-stretch, one for the photographers.
It was inevitable that CD Olímpic would open the scoring after Fuster broke through the defensive line and smashed the ball past the stranded Tonet. He seemed to have done so from an offside position but the referee’s assistant kept his flag down and the goal stood.
The team from Xàtiva played to its strengths, winning free-kicks and winding up the home side – both on and off the pitch – in order to rattle them and seek victory. But these are the boys of Ivorra and they were having none of it. In Jávea’s only really attack of the first-half, they equalised. The tricky Luis García first attempted a lob over the keeper which hit to left post and rebounded back into play where José Cabo was quickest to react and fired home just inside the same post to a thunderous response from the home fans. And thus, the first period ended 1-1.
At half-time, the En Danza dance school performed the routine that won them the international championships in Belgium. They were presented with great applause and a club shirt for their efforts.
The second half produced some of the most emotive football played at the ground this season as both sides moved to grab victory. But the visitor’s did not have that 12th man which emerged loudly during the second 45 minutes, roaring on the boys in red-and-white with great passion.
Keeper Tonet produced another fine save just minutes in, denying Olímpic’s Llorens long range effort. The same player then hit the post with Tonet well-beaten. The keeper then drew a standing ovation from the stands when he stood his ground after Miguel broke clear through the defence and charged onto the goal with just Tonet to beat but the custodian dropped bravely onto the ball to deny the chance, leaving the attacker with his heads in his hands.
On 69 minutes, the winner arrived and it was Jávea who would claim it in spectacular style. The Olímpic back line played the ball along the line but a misjudged pass allowed José Cabo to sneak in and smash home from outside the area for yet another contender for goal of the season after his stunning goal against Muro CF the previous week.
But the game wasn’t over yet . Olímpic hit the bar not long after and pushed heavily to get back into the game, requiring the magnificent defensive line of Aldo, Mario, Caturla and Marcos to really earn their money.
The referee added five minutes to the game and Jávea worked tremendously hard to contain the visitor’s as the clock ticked down excruciatingly slow, producing loud whistles from the home crowd. Eventually, after six additional minutes, the referee brought the game to a close to the joy of the players and fans.
Jávea are now just a point off the top eight. Next weekend, they make the short journey to La Font d’en Carròs to take on the 11th placed side in a game which they must win. Once again, the players and staff would appreciate that the 12th man make that short journey to give them support in that quest.
Tonet, Marcos, Caturla, Mario, Aldo; Javi (Fran, 85m), Ramis (Elián 57m), Pako (Tomás, 73m); Cabo (Umar, 85m), Rubén (Carlos, 57m), Luís.
Subs not used: Aaron (GK), David Buigues.
Booked: Marcos, Cabo, Pako, Aldo.
Head Coach: Julio Ivorra González.
Laoz, Joan, Migue (Ekedi, 57m), Rueda (Israel, 66m), Alberto, Aquino, Fuster, Carles, Llorens, Corbalán (Kosta, 57m), Vicent (Nico, 82m)
Subs not used: Enric (GK), Ferrer.
Booked: Vicent, Alberto, Israel..
Why is a top eight spot important?
In October 2022, the 55 clubs of the Regional Preferente voted to create a new regional tier – the Lliga Comunitat – which will become the highest division in the Comunidad Valenciana and will consist of two groups of 16 teams. It will begin next season – 2023-2024 – and will be the feeder division into the Tercera Federación, the bottom tier of the national pyramid system. The group winners would win automatic promotion whilst the second and third placed teams in each group would play-off for the remaining two spots. The bottom three in each group will be relegated to the Primera FFCV.
The current Regional Preferente will become the Primera FFCV and consist of four groups as it does now. The group winners would win automatic promotion to the Lliga Comunitat whilst the two remaining spots will be claimed by the winners of the play-offs between the runners-up in each group. The bottom three in each group will be relegated to the Segona FFCV. The bottom tier will be renamed Tercera FFCV.
In order to form the two groups of the Lliga Comunitat, it was agreed that the top eight teams of the current four groups of the Regional Preferente would qualify, except those four teams who win promotion to the Tercera Federación through the end-of-season play-offs; they will be replaced by those teams relegated from the higher division.