Elche CF Kicks Off After Lockdown

As the world of football starts to get back to the playing field, I am sure I can speak for every
football fan that the time we have all spent within lockdown has been a life changing one. To be
honest, football has become insignificant as we collectively carry on fighting this pandemic that has
brought so much change to our daily lives. We are lucky to still be alive and will have the
opportunity to remember those not so fortunate at the start of each game.
Of course this was the case at the Martinez Valero in Elche on Friday evening. Elche CF started in
6th place, the final play off place, against lowly Extremadura UD who were 2nd from bottom. The
game was played in what is the new normal empty stadium environment. The only recognition of
the fans were the promotion available for season ticket holders to have a cardboard cut out of
themselves in one corner of the ground.
After the minute silence, the game kicked off. Watching via a TV instead of being in the stadium
with our EuroTourGuide coach full of supporters, took a little getting used to. The lack of fans also
effected Elche CF as the opening 20 minutes was all Extremadura. Along way from home on the
border of Portugal, Extremadura seemed more like the home team with many shots at goal, none of
which caused Edgar too many problems.
Against the run of play, the opening goal came on 22 minutes. Following a break down the right,
young Escriche #20 delivered a pin point low cross to the feet of Brazilian Jonothas #27 who
simply could not miss from 2yds. That would be the highlight of the rest of the first half for Elche
CF, who to be honest were outplayed.
Pre Covid, Elche CF would often start the 2nd half by throwing away any lead that they had gained,
sadly this was still the case. In the 52nd minute Extremadura Capitan Bastos #4 cut inside to smash
home the equaliser from inside the box, his first goal since the 2017/18 season!
Elche CF continued to make hard work of a fixture they were expecting to win. Coach Pacheta tried
to change the situation by using all of his 5 subs and the extra time allowed for the compulsory
water break, both new Covid rules. Even the debutant Diego Bri and the legendary Nino, the club
record goal scorer and now the oldest ever Elche player having celebrated his 40th birthday during
lockdown, could not alter the result.
At the time of going to print on Monday evening, the result of the Ponferrandia game was not yet know, but by the time the Costa Blanca People hits the streets on Tuesday morning, we will know the score. Let’s hope that Elche CF have returned to their pre Covid
form and have held onto their play off position with a win away from home.