The Villarreal B team are only two games away from achieving the long dreamed of promotion to LaLiga 123 (Spanish Second Division). The Yellows Reserves knocked out Fuenlabrada in a thrilling second leg of the second round of the play-offs at the Mini Estadi. The tie finished in a 2-0 win for the home side thanks to goals by Samu Chukwueze and Dani Raba (the first leg finished in a 0-0 draw).
Samu Chukwueze warned the visitors of his intentions early on. With just a quarter of an hour on the clock, the Nigerian’s shot from the edge of the box skimmed the woodwork. Four minutes later he was on target though. Samu set himself up on his left foot and hit a missile of a shot into the top corner to open the scoring (1-0, m. 19).
The Yellows Reserves dominated the match against the side from Madrid who were well organized. Thus, the Mini Submarine had to take their chacnes when they could. Adrià Dalmau came close to opening Villarreal’s account, he received the ball on the left, dribbled around ‘Cata’ Díaz and hit a powerful shot at goal, but his effort went straight at the visitors’ goalkeeper, Pol.
In the second half, Fuenlabrada pushed forward in search of an equalizer. Fran García, Vila-real native and current Fuenlabrada player, almost pulled one back. The daring visitors were attacking non-stop and Villarreal B took advantage by catching them out on the counterattack. Dalmau played the ball forward to Samu Chukwueze out on the left who in turn pulled back a driven cross to Raba who shot twice, his second effort finding the back of the net (2-0, m. 71). The Mini Estadi went wild.
The side from Madrid did not give up. In fact, the visitors were sure they had pulled one back as Arruabarrena's great strike headed towards goal, but a miraculous stretching save by Ander Cantero was equal to it. The Villarreal B goalkeeper flew through the air to keep the ball out and maintain a clean sheet over the two legs of the second round of the LaLiga 123 play-offs. The Villarreal B team are still dreaming about promotion!
Villarreal B: Cantero; Miguelón (Roger Riera, m. 87), Juan ‘Ibiza’, Pau, Quintillà; Samu, Imanol, Morlanes, Chuca; Raba (Leo Suárez, m. 81) and Dalmau (Mario González, m. 75).
CF Fuenlabrada: Pol; Jaume, ‘Cata’ Díaz, Juanma, Fran García; Hugo Fraile, Marcos Gullón (Quero, m. 75), Cristóbal, Vicente (Arruabarrena, m. 70); Randy (Bravo, m. 46) and Dioni.
Goals: 1-0. Min. 19: Samu. 2-0. Min. 71: Raba.
Referee: Hernández Maeso. Cautioned: Miguelón for Villarreal B; Juanma, Quero, Fran García and Arruabarrena for Fuenlabrada.
Match Information: Match played at the Mini Estadi at the Villarreal CF Training Ground (Ciudad Deportiva) in front of 3,500 spectators.