FCB Alusport-Caja Segovia (Copa). FOTO: Rubén de Pedro.

The defending champions of the Spanish Cup won in Logroño after hard-fought match against Caja Segovia, finalists in last year’s Cup edition. The team led by Marc Carmona was the better side in the first half, but Cidao was up to the task and kept the home team in the game. Two goals form Lozano at the start of the second, when things weren’t looking good for Barça, sealed Barça Alusport’s victory.

Incredible keeper display

Barça Alusport came out with an unusual starting line-up, no Torras or Lozano up top. However, from the starting whistle, both teams rotated their benches. Once Torras and Lozano came on, the Barça side took control of the match. It was Cidao, Caja Segovia’s keeper, with an incredible display throughout the half, that kept the home side in the match. Cristian, on the other end of the court, was also having a fine night on the goal line; he saved two clear counterattacks that would have otherwise ended in goals (min, 7 and 12).

Blaugrana initiative

As the minutes passes, Barça’s onslaught intensified. An incisive Wilde hit the crossbar in the 10th minute. Just before that, the Barça team had three goalscoring chances in the same play. Cidao, however, emerged as the hero for Caja Segovia by denying each an every one of them. The Culé superiority forced the home side’s manager, Jesus Velasco, to call a timeout to break Barça’s rhythm. His men were lucky to be level.

Cidao saves Caja Segovia

The match was beautiful and despite Barça’s dominations (15-6 shots on target balance on 17 minutes), the game was open. The Castilians were bold. The first half saw the visiting side almost realize two fantastic chances, the first was Torra’s that hit the post the second, Wilde’s, was saved by Cidao. 0-0 at the half.

Lozano breaks the deadlock

At the start of the second half both side’s assumed the roles played by the opposite team in teh first half. Caja Segovia roared back into the match and they pinned Barça Alusport back. Cristian, with a couple fantastic saves, proved enormous on the goal line. Sergio Lozano saved his team when the flow of the match wasn’t going Barça’s way - his shot found its way into the back of Cidao’s net on 24 minutes. Barça needed the goal to stay alive. From that point on the game wasn’t so complicated. Lozano, again, netted his second with a beautiful chip; Saad grabbed the third after a back heel assist from Ari Santos. Barça’s accuracy in the second half was simply exquisite.

Caja Segovia looked as though they had given up, they didn’t even try to use a keeper-player. At the same time, Barça employed intelligence and power to preserve their lead. However, both keepers once again proved to be decisive before the game’s end with fantastic saves. With three minutes remaining, Lolo came on as a keeper-player. It was too late, Barça was out of reach.

MATCH STATS

CAJA SEGÒVIA, 0
FCB ALUSPORT, 3

Caja Segòvia: Cidao, Borja Blanco, Lolo, David i Antoñito –starting five-, Borja, Fabián, Sergio, Víctor and Hicham.

FCB Alusport: Cristian, Ari Santos, Saad (1), Lin i Wilde- starting five-, Torras, Gabriel, Fernandao, Lozano (2), Igor and Javi Rodríguez.

Referees: Gutiérrez i Gracia.

Goals: 0-1 Lozano (min 24), 0-2 Lozano (min 27), 0-3 Saad (min 31)