We registered our first three points of the season in dramatic style as Dani Rodríguez struck with less than six minutes left on the clock to secure a 1-0 victory over CE Sabadell at the Visit Mallorca Estadi.
Luis García Plaza made a single change to the side which was held to a goalless draw at RCD Espanyol a week ago, handing Jordi Mboula his full debut in place of Aleix Febas. Named among a substitutes bench featuring Luka Romero, Antonio Sánchez and Franc Russo was new loan signing Murilo for the first time. In the starting XI for the visitors was former defender Pierre Cornud at full back.
The manager’s desire for greater penetration in the final third during his pre-match press conference yielded a front three which looked dangerous throughout the opening exchanges, with Mboula coming close to a dream full debut after just eight minutes when he broke into the box and struck over the bar.
Our encouraging start was almost undone close to the half-hour mark when opposition pressure led to Gorka Guruzeta getting hold of Antonio Raíllo’s failed clearance and thankfully firing the wrong side of the post.
Dani Rodríguez almost broke the deadlock moments later with a header at goal from inside the box, although it proved to be nothing more than a straightforward save for Los Arlequinats goalkeeper, Ian Mackay.
We continued to get plenty of joy out of the flanks up until the half-time whistle, and while stretching play resulted in an Abdón Prats header and acrobatic effort from Dani Rodríguez late on, we headed into the break with the scoreline level despite a dominance of possession.
Hitting the ground running upon the restart and with Murilo introduced for the first time, Lago Junior and Brian Oliván showcased their growing chemistry as the former teed up the latter just outside the box for a rasping effort which flew off target four minutes into the second half.
From one full back to another, Joan Sastre was denied by two fine reflex saves by Mackay having ghosted into the box and managing to test the opposition goalkeeper before repeating the move at a set-piece and having his chance deflected.
Increasing the pressure on the visitors’ defence with overloads in dangerous areas, García looked to change our dynamic in the final third as both Alex Alegría and then Stoichkov were called upon to make a difference with 15 minutes remaining.
While time was against us, the game swung in our favour when CE Sabadell were reduced to 10-men as Pierre Cornud received his marching orders for a second bookable offence in the 76th minute.
Our hard work and persistence paid off with six minutes left on the clock as Dani Rodríguez fired home from the edge of the box to score our first goal of the season in fine style. A promising passage of play ended with Stoichkov finding the midfielder with space to beat the outstretched Mackay with a fine effort.
Three points and job done at the Visit Mallorca Estadi, we now turn our attention to Tenerife in less than a week’s time for Matchday Four of the Segunda División.
RCD Mallorca: Manolo Reina, Joan Sastre, Raíllo, Valjent, B. Oliván, Baba (79’), Febas, Mboula (45’), Salva Sevilla, Dani Rodríguez, Lago Júnior (85’), Abdón (72’)
Substitutes: Miquel Parera, Iván Bravo, De Galarreta, Antonio Sánchez, Luka Romero (85’), Alegría (72’), Russo, Fran Gámez, Sedlar, Stoichkov (79’), Febas, Murilo (45’)
CE Sabadell: Mackay, Ibiza, Jaime, Heber (55’), O. Rubio (67’), Romero, Guruzeta (77’), Grego, Aarón (55’), Pierre, Undabarrena (67’)
Substitutes: Fuoli, Froi, Ozkoidi (77’), Hernández (55’), Néstor (55’), Boniquet (67’), Víctor (67’), Olmo, Astais, Chadi
Goals: 1-0, Dani Rodríguez (85’)