In an unfortunate set of events, Villarreal B were denied 1st place by Espanyol at the Dani Jarque stadium in front of a crowd of up to 400 yellow fans that made the trip to Sant Adrià de Besòs. Needless to say, Leo Suárez had three clear chances that hit the crossbar three times.
The young submarine knew of the importance of the match since the beginning of the match as they went all out looking for that early goal that would allow to control the tempo of the game. They almost did in the 3rd minute, as Leo Suárez attempted to curl the ball past the Espanyol keeper but his shot went over the top.
In the 19th minute Pablo Larrea made a long ball that found Pedraza in the left flank, Pedraza made a superb pass for Fran Sol to bury it in the back of the net.
Espanyol were fortunate to find an equalizer in an isolated event. They took advantage of a free kick after Aitor made a nice save, but the Villarreal B defense were caught napping and Espanyol's Rufo was able to head the locals to the equalizer.
Nonetheless, Villarreal B kept pressing Espanyol continuously. Leo Suárez free kick attempt went inches away after hitting the crossbar miraculously. The talented Argentinian winger left reflected all his quality in several lapses of the game.
The second half was no different. Villarreal kept besieging the locals in their own half of the field. During the 62th minute Villarreal left embodied a remarkable brush stroke of their quality after stringing a beautiful team play after Carlos Martínez made a cross that Fran Sol skipped for Leo Suárez, and the Argentinian was unlucky again after his superb effort went inches wide, hitting the post for the second time.
Then in the 80th minute, Leo Suárez had another clear chance as his attempted cross hit the post for the third time. Rodri made a final attempt in the last minute but his header went wide over the top.
It was really unfortunate for Villarreal after having dominated a great portion of the match, but due to the unfortunate crossbar interventions and the chances they wasted, they were not able to overcome Espanyol, and finished in second place of Group III after Reus won against Cornella.
This should not undermine Villarreal B's remarkable season. It should not discourage fans either. Finishing second just means that Villarreal will have to take the longer route in their quest for promotion
There is a positive precedent already of Villarreal B finishing second. It was during the 2008/09 season under the guidance of Juan Carlos Garrido, as that squad also had a remarkable season, and would eventually finish 2nd behind Alcoyano. Villarreal finished in 2nd place 1 point behind Alcoyano. Ultimately, Alcoyano did not manage to earn promotion during neither first and second knock out of the playoffs, and eventually ended up staying in the Segunda B despite finishing 1st in the group.
Villarreal B on the other had, despite having to take the longer route, managed to defeat Zamora FC in the first knock out stage of the promotion playoffs. Then they faced Lorca Deportiva. Finally, they faced a historic club such as Jaén, and in a historic day for Villarreal B June 21 2009, they defeated them at their Estadio "Nueva Victoria" in Jaén to earn the famous and historic promotion to the Liga Adelante.
The 16 best teams of all of the Segunda División B will be competing for 4 berths to the Liga Adelante. The draw will be held tomorrow at the Real Federación de Fútbol venue of Las Rozas.
Since Villarreal B finished in second place of Group III, they will be facing one of three teams that finished 4th in their group. Among the possible teams Villarreal might be facing these are: UD Logroñés (Not the one that used to play in Primera in the late 80's, early 90's), CD Toledo or Cádiz CF.