Deportivo wastes penalty kick, remains winless under Seedorf
By TALES AZZONI
Feb. 23, 2018
MADRID (AP) — Clarence Seedorf just can't catch a break with Deportivo La Coruna.
Deportivo missed a second-half penalty kick and was twice denied by the woodwork in a 0-0 draw with Espanyol on Friday, keeping the former Dutch midfielder winless as a coach in the Spanish league.
The result extended Deportivo's winless run to 10 matches in all competitions, and left the club in the relegation zone for yet another round.
It was the team's third game in a row without a victory since Seedorf took over to try to keep the club in the first division. It was 18th in the 20-team standings after 25 matches.
"This performance will boost the team's morale. I would be worried if we hadn't created scoring chances," Seedorf said. "We have time to recover and we have the players to do it."
Seedorf and the players left the field applauded by the local fans despite the setback at Riazor Stadium.
"They recognized our effort," Deportivo defender Juanfran Moreno said. "And that's important for us. We need the fans on our side because without them it will be impossible to overcome this situation. The goals will come and I'm certain that it won't take long for us to start winning again."
Deportivo hasn't scored in its last four matches.
Lucas Perez had the best chance to give Deportivo the win after he was fouled inside the area in the 65th minute but he couldn't capitalize from the penalty spot. Espanyol goalkeeper Diego Lopez, who earlier this season stopped a penalty taken by Lionel Messi, dived to his right to make a superb save on Perez's low shot.
Midfielder Fede Cartabia struck the woodwork with a shot in the first half and forward Florin Andone hit the crossbar with a close-range header in the second half.
The match marked the Deportivo debut of veteran Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari. He played alongside Seedorf at AC Milan, and was signed this week after a trial period.
Espanyol, 15th in the standings, hasn't won in seven matches, since it ended Barcelona's 29-match unbeaten streak in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarterfinals. Espanyol's last league win was in January, seven rounds ago.
"We played well in the first half but they were superior in the second," Espanyol midfielder Victor Sanchez said. "It wasn't easy, they have a good team."
Barcelona defends its seven-point lead in the standings when it hosts Girona on Saturday. Second-place Atletico Madrid visits Sevilla on Sunday.
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