Elche will play next season in the highest category of Spanish football. The team from Elche, who returned to First Division five years later, got promotion this Sunday by beating Girona in Montilivi by a tight 0-1, with an epic goal from Pere Milla in the 96th minute, after completing a new display of defensive strength .
As he did in the first leg (0-0), on the lousy lawn of the Martínez Valero Stadium, Pacheta armed a defense with five men and without any fissure; with the news in the line-up of Ramon Folch, Josan and a Jonathas who could be sent off in a couple of actions in the first 20 minutes.
For his part, Francisco, who has turned Girona into a team in the truest sense of the term, recovered Aday Benítez, Johan Mojica and Diamanka, who entered the starting lineup in the place of a Gumbau who was injured in the previous warm-up.
The nerves, fears and respect between the two teams that characterized the first moments of the duel soon gave way to an incontestable control of the possession of the ball by the Girona; owner and lord of the game in the first 45 minutes.
While Elche, one of the great positive surprises of the course in the silver category, awaited his options locked in his field, Girona approached with danger the vicinity of Edgar Badia; although without forgetting to protect the arch of Asier Riesgo because a little visitor could be a difficult slab to overcome.
In the first act, the local cadre, which He reached the decisive stretch in his best moment of the football year, stroked the goal through Granell, that disturbed Badia with a very far kick, with a shot from Stuani from the edge of the area that went just over the crossbar and with a left-footed shot from Aday Benítez, but the game arrived at halftime with the same result with which it started .
The duel followed the same script at the dawn of the second half, and Girona was about to go ahead with a dangerous Ignasi Miquel’s header off a corner kick.
Everything changed in the 61st minute. After Jonathas returned to play the red for the umpteenth time and Pacheta was forced to relieve him to avoid staying with ten players, the referee José Antonio López Toca, at the request of the VAR, expelled, with direct cardboard, Stuani for a stomp on Dani Calvo in the center of the field.
With Girona orphan of the gunpowder of the top Second Division gunner, and of his great reference on the green, and unable to understand that the referee was so permissive with Jonathas and so strict with Stuani, the panorama changed radically.
Convinced that the time had come for Elche, Pacheta revolutionized his team with the entry of Fidel and Escriche into the site of Gonzalo Verdú and Ramon Folch with the intention of closing in on Asier Riesgo’s goal.
Girona castled and clung to the defensive solidity acquired from Francisco’s hand and the reliability shown in Montilivi, where still He had not lost any league game in 2020.
The Almeria coach kept the five changes for extra time, but Girona was shipwrecked on the shore because, at the end of the match, in the 96th minute, Pere Milla finished off, from the vertex of the small area, a center of Fidel from the left profile of the visiting attack so that Elche would return to the elite and conquer glory.
– Data sheet:
0 – Girona: Risk; Maffeo (Alcalá, m. 100+), Juanpe, Ignasi Miquel, Johan Mojica; Diamanka (Jairo, m. 98+), Granell; Aday Benítez, Borja García, Samu Sáiz (Alex Gallar, m.98 +); and Stuani.
1 – Elche: Edgar Badia; Óscar, Gonzalo Verdú (Fidel, m.75), Dani Calvo, Josema, Juan Cruz; Iván Sánchez (Mfulu, m.93 +), Ramon Folch (Escriche, m.65), Josan (Víctor Rodríguez, m.46); Jonathas (Pere Milla, m.52) and Nino.
Goal: 0-1, m. 96+: Pere Milla.
Referee: José Antonio López Toca, from the Cantabrian school. He admonished local Granell (min. 85) and visitors Jonathas (min. 22), Iván Sánchez (min. 41), Víctor Rodríguez (min. 84) and Pere Milla (min. 85). He expelled, with a direct red, the local Stuani (min. 61).
Incidents: Match corresponding to the return of the final of the promotion for promotion to the First Division, played behind empty doors at the Estadi Municipal de Montilivi.