First Division - Day 18

Mallorca 1 - Recreativo Huelva 1

Mallorca: Leo Franco; David Cortés, Fernando Niño, Nadal, Miguel Soler; Novo, Lussenhoff, Ibagaza (Tuni 70'), Riera; Carlos (Eto'o 58'), Pandiani. 4-4-2.
Recreativo: Luque; Merino, Loren (Galán 70'), Iker Begoña, Pernía; Javi García, Camacho, Viqueira, Oscar Arpón; Mario Bermejo (Xisco 52'), Raúl Molina (Cubillo 83'). 4-4-2.

Team changes: Mallorca: David Cortés, Miguel Soler, Carlos for Campano, Poli, Lozano / Recreativo: Pernía, Camacho for Espinola, Gallego.

0-1. 56. Raúl Molina. Tap in after Xisco touched ball past keeper inside area.
1-1. 81. Pandiani (penalty). After referee ruled that Galán had pulled down Novo.

After their successful cup win over Valladolid, Mallorca were expecting an easy game against bottom club Recreativo Huelva. In the end it proved to be nothing of the sort, and Gregorio Manzano's side were lucky to save a point in a 1-1 draw, thanks in part to a controversial second half penalty. What the manager and the fans didn't take into account was that Recreativo had also reached the last eight of the cup midweek, and their historic victory over Betis had done a lot to restore their confidence.

The Andalucians held off the spirited Mallorca attack in the first half, with Luque saving from Pandiani and the Uruguayan striker putting another effort just wide. Soon after the restart Lucas Alcaraz brought on young striker Xisco, and within five minutes he ran on to a Viqueira pass to set up Raúl Molina for the opening goal. Manzano immediately turned to Eto'o, who was returning after a four match suspension but who had started the game on the substitutes' bench due to the recent goalscoring form of Carlos.

Even with the Camerooni star on the park though they could not find the route to goal, and it was left to referee Muñiz Fernández to give them a helping hand, awarding a hotly disputed penalty though after his linesman told him that Galán had pulled down Novo. Pandiani drilled his kick past the keeper to square the match and keep his side in seventh place, level on points now with sixth placed Celta. Recreativo go home ruing their luck, already six points adrift at the bottom of the table. With referees against them as well, their chances of survival look pretty slim.