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Alavés go up to the First Division with a penalty in added time of extra time

He Deportivo Alaves has achieved promotion to the First Division thanks to its 0-1 win over the Lift UD in the second leg of the LaLiga SmartBank ‘playoff’ final, with a goal scored from a penalty by Asier Villalibre in added time of extra time, following a hand from Rober Pier in a heart attack outcome.

The former Athletic Club forward marked that maximum penalty with temper, decreed at the request of the VAR after minutes of extremely high tension, to seal the controversial and agonizing victory in a Ciutat de València Stadium that cried after the referee’s final whistle. The granotas were left with honey on their lips, having touched joy.

With the Orriols stadium packed, the first half of the match made it clear that there was a lot of tension. The players of both teams were lost in hand protests within their respective rival areas, but the braid Francisco Jose Hernandez Maeso it did not decree the maximum penalties requested, nor did it even request video arbitration.

The first great opportunity did not come until after half an hour, thanks to a cross from babazorro Rubén Duarte from the left wing. His delivery crossed the rival area and the right side joined on the opposite side Nahuel Tenaglia, to finish heeled; Robert Pier cleared, under the crossbar and almost over the goal line.

Nerves gripped Levante, who had ceded control of the ball to their opponent. This situation did not translate into more danger before the break, but it did immediately start the second act. Within seconds of resuming activity, Miguel de la Fuente He connected a strong shot from the edge, which was repelled by the local goalkeeper.

Luis Rioja, attentive to the rebound, shot with his left foot from close range; Joan Femenías, reacted quickly from the ground and prevented the goal, sending that ball to a corner. He took a long time to get the granota response, in Joni Montiel’s boots with a good left-footed shot from the crown of the area; but his shot, at 68 ‘, stumbled on the center-back Aleksandar Sedlar. The game was livened up with a low shot on 76’ from Roberto Soldado, who had entered the area from the right flank, until finishing too cross. In a similar play, but on the other side of the field, Abde Rebbach also sent out a great occasion to open the marker. The refreshment men were thus taking center stage.

However, there were only 10 minutes remaining until the end of regulation time, so the two coaches kept bullets in the chamber thinking about extra time. With a shy header, the visiting striker Asier Villalibre had the last chance to unbalance the balance, but Femenías caught that ball without concern. In the 9th minute of said extra time, the Levante supporter Jorge de Frutos hit the crossbar with a beautiful volley from the front. As a result of a set piece, the left-footed interior of the Granotas controlled a clearance from Alavés at mid-height and immediately hooked his shot, which made the local parish dream of a favorable outcome.

Penalty for handball in the last breath

Nothing is further from reality, well mamadou sylla He already warned that Alavés would have the last word. Although he went very high with a shot, in the franchise to score inside the area, the team coached by Luis García Plaza saw its faith rewarded in the final bars, when the entire Levantine stadium was dying.

In a desperate corner kick, even visiting goalkeeper Antonio Sivera came up to look for the miracle. He himself headed in a foreshortening without aim, but keeping his team the ball; in a lateral center, and due to a hubbub, Rober Pier hit the ball with his arm in his attempt to get away from the opponent Javi López.

Hernández Maeso, who had a run-in with Sivera himself, stopped the game and stretched out time, to the chagrin of the Valencian fans. After consulting several repetitions on the VAR screen, and despite the gigantic protests of the Granota footballers, the referee saw Pier’s hand inside the area and signaled that penalty.

The illusion turned into disappointment for the Ciutat de València in the last play of the last minute of the last game of the 2022/23 academic year. Another controversial hand, the umpteenth of this long campaign, was what settled the party on the side of Vitoria. villalibresigned by Alavés last January, transformed that maximum penalty to certify visiting glory.

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