UD Las Palmas left floundering in the league with today’s defeat at the hands of Elche CF (0-1). Pepe Mel’s side were forced into changes through suspensions, and included Dani Castellano, Álvaro Lemos and Rafa Mir in a new-look starting line-up. The match was a more sticky encounter than Las Palmas were expecting. Elche closed down every space in the first half and in the first half hour looked more dangerous going forward.
Raúl Fernández was able to block what could have been the away side’s first goal. Elche attacked swiftly down the left hand side and caused mayhem in the yellows’ back line. Juan Cala was booked while trying to defend, and is now suspended. In the second half, Aythami Artiles also saw a yellow card, and added to the previous four he picked up playing for Córdoba, this means he will also be missing next week in Oviedo.
The best chance for Las Palmas fell two minutes before the break, with an effort by Rafa Mir that rebounded off the goalkeeper. The the hustle and bustle of the match, the home side never settled into their stride. Results elsewhere in the league had benefited them, and they knew the importance of picking up the three points in order to make up ground on the leading pack.
In the second half, Mel reshuffled his bench. Gaby Peñalba was replaced by Momo. This was an attacking move aimed to overcome an Elche side that were controlling proceedings. A free kick by Rafa Mir that flew over the bar, was the first warning shot.
UD Las Palmas began to lay siege on the Elche goal, but were untidy in their approach. Firstly Rubén Castro, followed by Juan Cala, came close to breaking the deadlock in the 73rd minute. The last ten minutes saw Pepe Mel throw everything into attack with the introduction of striker Pekhart. But in the 83rd minute, a piece of individual skill by Castro ended in the away goal. The Estadio Gran Canaria fell silent with the 0-1 scoreline, as they saw their hopes of reaching the playoffs dashed.