Reus has been summoned today with glory in Lleida, a special city, because there it raised its last European Cup (2017) and tomorrow, starting at 3:00 p.m., it hopes to reach its eighth Copa del Rey. They will face Barcelona in the grand final of a tournament that has immaculate the red and black team, capable of defeating the current cup champion, Liceo, in the quarterfinals, and the organizer of the current edition, Lleida, in the semifinals.
It is curious about this team, when it is least expected, it appears. It’s in his modus vivendi. Forced by history to always be invited to the finals, he doesn’t even look for alibis on the days with less light. Garcia’s men have appeared in Lleida without their most voracious scorer, Raúl Marín, with back ailments and the omens did not place them in the elite party of the favorites either. All those forecasts with a negative aroma have been collapsed by the personality of a team that has dignified the shield and that, against the powerful Barça, will act without complexes, ready to add a new award to its extensive showcase.
In the penultimate step, Reus got up early to activate his spirit of survival, especially after a blue card to Compagno very on the wire and two minutes later. Zapater, who started under the goal yesterday, solved the problem of the direct attack that Jepi Selva tried to sneak in. In numerical inferiority, when the scenario invited to bail water, the red and black found loot where there was nothing.
It was in an individual adventure for Marc Julià, who began to throw hooks and was left alone against Martí Serra, the Lleida goalkeeper. He knocked him down in the final threat and the maximum penalty fell on Gelmà’s shovel. He did not miss.
When the script in the preview invited a duel of classical music, slow, of progressive digestion, that success of Gelmà transformed it into authentic rock and roll. The game broke out and Reus paid for it. Perhaps, at that moment, he was not interested.
In the disorder, Lleida guessed two flashes of effectiveness. He first took advantage of a rude mistake by his rival at the start of the transition. On own track. Badia and Jepi looked at Zapater and in yours-mine they beat him. Shortly after, Joan Cañellas deflected Andreu Tomàs’ long-range shot into the net. At 11 minutes, the players from Lleida overturned the result. With an advantage, Lleida began to lengthen their attacks and sent the duel to the fridge. I didn’t want any more madness.
Meanwhile, Reus showed a crucial point of maturity in moments of difficulty, competing with few boasts but with extraordinary firmness, especially thanks to the leadership of Aragonès and Julià. Moreover, he picked up the tie a breath away from intermission. Gelmà recovered on the opposite court and served for Rojas’ first and spoon shot. 2-2 and back to start.
Equality and respect turned the outcome into a chess game with different details to control, for example direct fouls. Current hockey, when so much equality appears, usually determines that the key to success is found in the stopped ball and Lleida did not take advantage of their option in the tenth red and black penalty. Andreu Tomàs did not define when he had seated Zapater.
Through all of this, Garcia’s team had regained its most reliable tone, even daring to dominate the timing of the game and test Serra’s reflexes on several occasions. With Aragonès, Julià and Rojas as executors. Another interesting piece of news for the people from Reus had to do with their rival’s foul list. Lleida entered the final 12 minutes with nine, one from penalty.
The Julia factor
Sergi Aragonès forced it already below the time of fear. Julià again took responsibility as a good specialist and exhibited his sweet flow. He feinted to lift the ball mid-height and culminate in a loophole. The 3-2 lit up the semifinal, also for the red and black fans. Nine remained for the conclusion and the party walked on a pin.
Marc Julià’s factor emerged as he did against Liceo, in the quarter-final matchup, where he already added two decisive direct fouls to his list of services. Against Lleida he was not absent either.
The rush invaded a little cerebral Lleida before the call of the epic. He was all heart, but he lacked sanity in his offenses. They died on the shore and, on occasions, caused frank counterattacks so that Reus ended up with the semifinal. Gelmà and Rojas could have done it with two shots in the mouth of the goal, but there was no fang.
In any case, the management of the red and black advantage confirmed their interesting relationship with experience throughout the Cup. They have handled themselves with surprising ease in maximum pressure and that speaks well of the group, especially at the level of solidarity. Without excuses and with reinforced self-esteem, Reus asks for an appointment with glory. Barcelona remains.