Real Madrid Castilla orchestrated an astonishing comeback in the dying minutes of the match. Thus securing their spot in the promotion playoff final against Eldense. The loss of Barca Atletic, came amidst controversy as a penalty kick awarded in the last moments. Eventually, Arribas scored and turned the tide in favor of the ‘Blancos’. The referee, Segovia Cid Camacho, wasted no time pointing to the spot following Dionkou’s handball. Prior to that pivotal moment, Dotor and former Barcelona player Iker Bravo had ignited the flames of the epic showdown. Thus leaving Barça Atlètic overwhelmed from the start.
One-Sided First Half
Right from the kickoff, the intensity on the field was palpable. The Alfredo di Stéfano Stadium reverberated with tension, creating an electrifying atmosphere that fueled the home team. Even Florentino Pérez couldn’t resist being drawn to the spectacle. The young Madridistas epitomized the indomitable spirit associated with their esteemed crest. Admittedly, emotions occasionally got the better of them. Yet the referee Cid Camacho admirably managed the tempestuous “mini” Clásico, though he did display partiality at times when emotions ran high during the first half.
As expected, the match unfolded with a relentless pace, leaving Barça Atlètic struggling to find their footing in the face of Castilla’s suffocating pressure. Rafa Márquez’s side faltered in their attempts to counter the unyielding white tide. The midfield for the Blaugrana had an off-day, with Moha, returning to his former stomping grounds, finding himself outplayed, while Raúl adeptly stifled Casadó and Garrido’s advances.
Remarkably, Barcelona’s B team failed to muster a single shot on goal in the opening half, leaving Astralaga, who replaced the U-21 national team call-up Arnau Tenas in goal, untested. In contrast, the Madridistas posed a constant threat to Astralaga’s net. The goalkeeper’s brilliance was on display as he deftly parried Álvaro Martín’s thunderous strike and blocked Peter’s attempt. Yet, Astralaga was powerless to prevent the breakthrough goal, which came courtesy of Dotor, the influential captain who embodies the soul of the white squad.
The early goal further diminished the hopes of the Catalan side. Álvaro came agonizingly close to doubling the lead with a shot that narrowly grazed the post, but Márquez’s men valiantly held their ground, weathering the relentless pressure until halftime.
The second half saw Barcelona mounting a spirited response, with Núñez providing vital impetus down the right flank. While his decision-making left something to be desired, squandering a prime crossing opportunity, he did manage to test the opposition’s defense with the team’s first shot on goal. However, the most significant chance of the match fell to Estanis at the hour mark. Núñez’s cross found its way to Estanis in the penalty area, who, unfortunately, failed to find the back of the net despite having an open goal at his mercy.
Real Madrid grew increasingly anxious as the match progressed, but the astute decision by Raúl to make key substitutions paid dividends. Arribas, battling through injury, Gonzalo, and the former Barcelona player Iker Bravo were injected into the fray. Bravo, having fully embraced his new colors, emerged as the hero, connecting with Gonzalo’s precise cross to score Castilla’s second goal. The Sant Cugat-born forward expertly timed his header, nestling the ball into the net, close to the upright.
Last Minute Penalty
While Astralaga’s heroics kept the tie alive in stoppage time, Cid Camacho’s unwavering judgment led to the crucial penalty decision in the final moments of the game. A corner kick resulted in Dionkou’s handball, and Arribas, despite playing through his injury for half an hour, demonstrated nerves of steel as he confidently dispatched the penalty, sealing Real Madrid Castilla’s remarkable comeback victory.
The encounter left Barcelona fans in disbelief, as the resilient Castilla team defied the odds to emerge triumphant. The captivating spectacle served as a reminder of the fierce rivalry and unpredictable nature of the “mini” Clásico, leaving fans eagerly anticipating future clashes between these two historic powerhouses.