Real Madrid Castilla picked up a point on their visit to the Estadio Romano, courtesy of a goal by Iker Bravo in the 89th minute. The academy side thought they had drawn level against Mérida in the first half, but the referee controversially ruled out the goal for offside. Raúl’s men are back in action next Sunday when they host Deportivo La Coruña at the Alfredo Di Stéfano (6 pm CET).
After a cagey opening 20 minutes, with few clear-cut chances for either team, the Madrid academy side carved out the first clear opportunity when Álvaro’s header was well caught by the home goalkeeper. The deadlock was broken in the 24th minute by Mérida courtesy of Nacho González who headed home a corner kick from inside the six-yard box. Seven minutes before the break, Nando Copete almost doubled the hosts’ lead, but a wonderful full stretch save by De Luis kept the visitors in the game. Mario Martín tried to bring Castilla level soon after with a fierce shot from distance that narrowly went over the crossbar. A few minutes after, the controversial moment of the game took place when the referee ruled out a goal by Álvaro for what appeared to be a very contentious offside decision.
Fight until the end
Castilla began the second half on the attack as they went in search of an equaliser, with Peter testing Montoya with a long-distance drive that was pushed away for a corner. On 71’, Edgar almost caught out the keeper, but his shot from outside the area missed the target. It wasn’t until the last minute that fortune finally favoured the madridistas. Iker Bravo latched onto the ball inside the penalty area and fired past the home keeper to salvage a point away in Mérida.
Video.1-1: Castilla held to draw after refereeing controversy
1-Mérida: Javi Montoya, Bonaque, Dani Sandoval (Viñuela, 63’), Larrubia (Busi, 83’), Nando Copete, Meléndez (Kamal, 83’), Luis Acosta, Carlos Cinta (Lolo Plá, 70’), Nacho González, Pipe, Álvaro Ramón.
1-Castilla: De Luis, Tobias, Rafa Marín, Pablo Ramón (Obrador, 73’), Mario Martín, Theo (Iker Bravo, 46’), Arribas, Peter (Bruno, 73’), Álvaro Martín (Aranda, 73’), Edgar, Álvaro (Álvaro Leiva, 85′).
1-0 (min. 24): Nacho González.
1-1 (min. 89): Iker Bravo.