In a tense and thrilling semi-final, dominated by both defenses and decided in the last second, Barça Borges were knocked out of the Spanish Cup. Barça will not be able to defend the title they have won for the past two years.
FC BARCELONA BORGES, 25
CUATRO RAYAS VALLADOLID, 26
FC Barcelona Borges (12+13): Pérez de Vargas (Sjöstrand), García (2), Tomás (2),
Sorhaindo (-), Nagy (3), Jernemyr (-), Oneto (1) – starting seven– Noddesbo (4),
Entrerríos (2), Sarmiento (2), Ugalde (1), Rutenka (7), Igropulo (1)
Cuatro Rayas Valladolid (10+16): Sierra, Fernández (2), Marcos (-), Alonso (-),
Tvedten (8), Krivocapic (-), Delgado (-) – starting seven– Rambo (-), Gurbindo (2),
Perales (5), Rodríguez (-), Cutura (4), Bilbija (5)
Parcials (every 5 minutes): 2-1, 3-2, 5-5, 8-6, 11-10, 12-10 (half time) 14-13,
15-16, 19-19, 20-21, 21-22, 25-26 (final)
Referees: Ríos Martín and García Mosquera
A goal in the last second by Bilbija, following a probable foul in attack, knocked out the
champions. Barça Borges won’t play for the title this Sunday after losing to Cuatro Rayas
from Valladolid in a hard, tense match, controlled well in the first half, but crazy in the second,
and a terrible end to the game for Xavi Pascual’s side.
A lot at stake
In the As Travesas pavilion, the game started with lots of nerves, tension, mistakes, and
tactical movements to confuse the opposition, like playing with a rush goalkeeper, that Juan Carlos
Pastor tried on a couple of occasions but without the desired result. In the highest scoring
knockout tournament ever, Barça were ahead in the 8th minute, by just 2-1, an accurate reflection
of what was at stake.
It was difficult finding the opponents net, in Valladolid’s case due to good
goalkeeping by Gonzalo, and solid defense from Pascual’s team, with the outstanding Oneto,
but gradually both sets of players began to push forward, like Entrerrios and Victor Thomas for
Barça, and Valladolid’s Serbian star Cutura.
The game carried on in the same fashion, with Barça Borges ahead but by rarely more than one
goal difference. It was an even game, where small details might decide the outcome. Gonzalo,
Entrerrios, and Noddesbo conspired to put Barça ahead (9-6), a cushion of 3 goals that they managed
to maintain until 5 minutes before half-time, but Barca failed to handle being a man down, and
Pastor’s team reduced the deficit to one goal (11-10). Due to the inspiration of Rutenka and
another Gonzalo save, Barça finished the half with a two goal margin, (12-10), a score that just
about reflected the first half play.
Total intensity and a toss-up finish
After the restart Valladolid raised the intensity of their game and Perales
equalised (14-14). Rutenka and Igropulo tried hard to curb the Valladolid impetus, who were being
cheered on by their numerous fans. Match on again, but the pace that Pastor was looking for, and a
very solid defense, meant that Valladolid went ahead for the 1st time, 8 minutes into the half
Pascual sent on Juanin, who had been held back up to now, and his goal brought Barça back
into the game at a tricky moment (16-18). Barça Borges tried to create space for their game, and
drew level again thanks to 2 goals from a very active Noddesbo, but Valladolid were on top in the
match. In a less than fluent game, Juanin (2) and Rutenka had 3 penalties saved by Sierra,
complicating the situation, and with ten minutes left Valladolid were 2 ahead (19-21). Yet again
Barça came back to draw level (22-22).
The last couple of minutes were heart attack stuff, with any result possible and lots of
tension in the air. Victor Tomàs put Barça ahead with only 3 minutes left on the clock, but Cuatro
Rayas came back at them once again, and Perales scored a vital goal to make it 24-25 with thirty
Barça Borges had one last attack and Rutenka equalised brilliantly to force extra time that
never came. In ten seconds, and with numerical superiority, Valladolid scored the winning goal that
sunk the aspirations of the Barça players.