2018/19 in Pictures: Games 16 and 17

As September turns to October, I head to the suburbs for my football fix and meet the greatest mascot in Spanish football!

Game 16: Alcorcón 2-0 Real Oviedo (Estadio Municipal de Santo Domingo, Alcorcón- 30.9.2018)

Another early kick-off for me as I headed to Alcorcón, just a short ride on the Cercanias from Atocha.

This wasn’t actually my number one choice for the weekend, that was actually the Madrid derby at the Bernabeu on Saturday night. But after weighing things up I decided against spending a minimum of €90 on a ticket for that and went for the cheaper option of some Segunda action. Also any chance to see the team that I own shares in play!

Alas, my poor record of watching Oviedo away from home continued as they were well-beaten by an impressive Alcorcón side, who took the lead through a lovely goal from Albert Dorca on 25 minutes.

Oviedo started the second half well and went close to equalising but their revival quickly fizzled out and Juan Muñoz’s 57th minute free kick (which went in off the bar and thus was aesthetically perfect) killed the game as a contest. Alcorcón looked comfortable even after going down to ten men, when Nono received a second booking.

Alcorcón was a good wee trip. Two lovely goals, a nice compact ground, pizza at half time, I’ll definitely be making a return trip!

Game 17: Leganés 1-0 Rayo Vallecano (Estadio Municipal de Butarque, Leganés – 6.10.2018)

An evening game under the lights at last! And it was a good one to see. Even though there was only one goal, Leganés and Rayo (and their fans) provided plenty of entertainment at Butarque.

Again, it wasn’t as difficult to get there as I’d feared. A short Cercanias ride followed by a 15-minute walk saw me there in good time. Getting there early had its advantages as I was able to meet the Spanish football legend that is Leganés’ mascot, Super Pepino, the Cucumber Knight.

(For the uninitiated, Leganés are known as los pepineros, the cucumber growers)

Onto the game itself, Leganés deservedly took the lead after 14 minutes, Guido Carillo steering the ball home from just outside the six yard box. Aside from a slightly nervous moment for home goalkeeper Pichu Cuellar, Rayo didn’t threaten much in the first half, possibly down to having ex-Manchester United dud Bebé on the field.

At half time, it was time for la bocata se come en el descanso and my first taste of Leganés’ famous lomo sandwich. It definitely lived up to the hype.

There were no further goals in the second half, although Rayo struck the bar with a free kick and Leganés could have made sure of the victory late on after Rayo were reduced to ten men (that’s four games in a row I’ve seen a red card in now) but they’d done enough to secure their very first Madrid derby win in La Liga. A special mention must go to the fans at both ends, who created a brilliant atmosphere throughout and despite the defeat, Rayo’s fans were still singing as I walked away from the ground.

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