48 hours after claiming the European crown, Barça Alusport jumped onto the court at Antonio Rivilla with the objective of fighting for the first place of the LNFS, a spot currently occupied by ElPozo Murcia. Marc Carmona’s men, with the absence of Fernandao, faced a team that were playing for a spot in the play-offs.
The home team welcomed Barça Alusport, playing in the black kit, onto the court with an honour guard. At the start of the match, David Ramos’ men, with the help of their supporters, looked to take advantage of Barça Alusport’s fatigue. However, on seven minutes, a right-footed shot from Sergio Lozano silenced the arena. The ball went in the upper 90 of the goal.
Level at the half
Contreras and Palomeque tested Cristian, who was back in the starting team, but it was Cuco that netted the equalizer with a long-range shot. The goal gave confidence to Puertollano. Barça Alusport, despite not having a lot of time to prepare for the match, never gave in. A back-heel pass from Javi Rodríguez for Lin almost gave Barça the lead, but it wasn’t to be - both teams left the court at the half with a 1-1 draw.
Barça take the lead
At the start of the second half, Cristian saved two almost consecutive shots from Merino and, on the other end of the court, Borja could do nothing to deny Torras a goal after a good give-and-go with Lozano. From that point on, Barça Alusport controlled possession and dominated the match. Puertollano, seeing the chance to get to the play-offs slip away, gave it their all and Nacho Pedraza brought his team level with eight minutes to go from the end.
The last stretch of the match was not easy for Barça Alusport. Carmona called a time out to talk to his men and, seconds later, on a corner, Ari Santos netted the 2-3, demonstrating the fighting character of the European champions.
A couple of minutes later, Lozano took advantage of a rebound from Borja to score his 28th goal in the Liga, which draws him level with Wilde as Barça’s top goal scorer. With Contreras playing as a keeper-player, Cuco pulled one back on 37 minutes, but a minute later Torras scored the definitive 3-5.