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ElPozo Murcia-FCB Alusport / FOTO: RUBÉN DE PEDRO-LNFS

After 16 years without knowing victory on Murcia’s court, the team led by Marc Carmona were on the verge of making history. Barça fought back from a 3-1 deficit in the second half, but in the end the game ended in four-all draw. With the draw, the Azulgranas remain at the top of the table level on points with ElPozo Murcia.

Barça dominates but doesn’t score

ElPozo Murcia gave FCB Alusport the honour guard for the Catalan’s conquest of the Spanish Cup at a jammed packed Sports Palace before the match. The Azulgranas started strong and they pressured their rival’s high up the court, Murcia tried to get ahead by outpacing Barça. The local strategy worked for the first couple of minutes as Murcia bore down on the Azulgrana goal. But Barça’s intense defensive work, especially Ari Santos, denied the local team any real chances on goal.

The first shot on goal was Barça Alusport’s, it came on three minutes thanks to Wilde, but the ball crashed against the crossbar. The team led by Carmona was edging closer to Rafa’s goal. Lozano’s shot, minutes later, also hit the crossbar. FC Barcelona was sending a clear message, but the ball didn’t want to go in. In the meantime, the local team tried their luck from long range. However, halfway through the first half, Murcia upped their game.

Barça was being pinned back, Carmona was forced to call a timeout. He told his men to go on the attack. Said and done. Ari attempted to surprise Rafa with a well placed shot, but the ball narrowly missed its mark. On 17 minutes, Lin unleashed a shot the crashed into the post. It was the third ball to hit the woodwork, Barça deserved to be ahead but the goal wouldn’t come. Halftime came and both teams were level (0-0).

The goals start to flow

FCB Alusport came out in the second half swinging, and was Wilde that finally broke the deadlock in the first minute. The player received the ball from Torra and sent his shot into the roof of Rafa’s goal. Murcia, however, wasn’t about to let Barça win. A minute later, Miguelín brought his team level after sending in a cross that deflected off of Paco Sedano into the Barça goal. Murcia took the lead six minutes into the second half. De Bail shot, Salgado got a boot onto it and the local team was in front.

Even though Carmona’s men didn’t give up, things got worse for the Azulgrana on 12 minutes. Miguelín scored the 3-1 after Saad’s imprecise pass. However, Bebe conceded a penalty, it was promptly converted by Javi Rodríguez (3-2). A minute later, Torras scored the equaliser thanks to an assist from Fernandao. Barça was alive and kicking and they were looking for the win. On 17 minutes, Barça scored the go-ahead goal when Lozano grabbed the ball and Murcia’s keeper was caught out of position, the Barça man had no mercy (3-4).

Barça was on the verge of making history at the Sports Palace in Murcia, but with 16 seconds remaining in the match, Kike brought the local team level. The match, filled with intensity and good play, ended in a four-all draw. The result allows Barça to keep its position at the top of the table.

MATCH STATS

ELPOZO MÚRCIA, 4
FC BARCELONA ALUSPORT, 4

ElPozo Múrcia: Rafa ,Saúl, Kike, Miguelín, Esquerdinha –starting five-, Álex, Gréllo, Bebe, De Bail and Dani Salgado.

FC Barcelona Alusport: Paco Sedano, Ari, Lin, Saad i Wilde –starting five-, Fernandao, Igor, Jordi Torras, Sergio Lozano and Javi Rodríguez.

Goals: 0-1, Wilde, min 22; 1-1, Miguelín, min 23; 2-1, De Bail, min 27; 3-1, Miguelín, min 33; 3-2, Javi Rodríguez, min 33; 3-3, Torras, min 34; 3-4, Sergio Lozano, min 38, and 4-4, Kike, min 40.

Referees: Moreno Reina and Ramos Marín.

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