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Real Oviedo - Back From The Dead

Join me as I attempt to take Spanish third division club Real Oviedo to La Liga and beyond, with many inevitable failures along the way!
Started on 17 July 2013 by Rablador
Latest Reply on 13 October 2013 by Jer
  • POSTS126
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Really in depth, great read. Good luck making play offs
Rablador's avatar Group Rablador
10 yearsEdited

Copa Federación de España

I will admit that before I moved to Spain, I had never even heard of the Federation Cup, and I strongly doubt many people reading this will have either. Well, the Copa Federación de España, or Spanish Federation Cup in English, is a knockout-style tournament for teams in the Segunda Division B and Tercera Divisions. So, think of it as the Spanish equivalent of the English Johnstone’s Paint Trophy or the Scottish Challenge Cup.

However, unlike those tournaments, the Federation Cup is played in a similar way to the Champions League knockout stages; the tie is decided over two legs, one home and one away, and the winner advances to the next round.

I really didn’t expect too much of a challenge from us in this competition, at first I merely saw it as a distraction from the more important league fixtures as we attempt to achieve our play-off ambitions. However, as the tournament went on and we progressed further and further, suddenly both myself and the lads felt somewhat desire to win this; we were hungry for silverware. And, to my delight, we made it all the way to the final, in very respectable fashion.

Route To The Final

To my surprise, we won every game en route to the final. Our run began with two 3-2 wins over Arroyo. In both games, they twice pegged us back from a goal down, but we got the wins through a late goal in both legs. In the next round we faced Sporting B, and again we dispatched of them comfortably. A come-from-behind 4-2 win in the first leg was followed up by an easy 2-0 win in the home leg.

Our next opponents were Segunda Division B4 side Lucena, with two clean sheets and three goals from Diego Cervero sending us through to the quarter finals. Only Tercera Division side Vecindario stood in our way of a semi-final berth, and after we demolished them 4-1 in the first leg, before rounding off the win with a Pepe Diaz winner in the second leg. We were through to the semis!

It was us against Orihuela for a place in the Federation Cup final, and we gave ourselves the lead in the tie through a battling 3-1 home victory. Diego Cervero put us in front early on, but Orihuela responded well and soon levelled through Amado. However, at half time I knew we needed the home win, especially with away goals crucial, so I did my best to rally the team. And it must have worked, just seconds in to the half we regained the lead, the in-form Cervero adding his second of the game. After that goal, the gain remained tense and Orihuela almost levelled late on, hitting the woodwork. However, a late Jose Vega goal clinched victory for us, and we had one foot in the final.

But the tie was not done yet, it was effectively only half time. A 2-0 win would take Orihuela through at our expense, it was that close. Surely knowing how crucial away goals could be, we bagged the lead early on through Pepe Diaz. However, yet again they came back at us, the aptly named Raul scored on 38 minutes and the tie was all square. A glimmer of hope for Orihuela perhaps?

Well, as you can see, it wasn’t. Two goals in the final third from our prolific strike duo of Cervero and Diaz sealed the tie, and we were through to the Federation Cup final, where we would play high-flying Segunda Division B4 side Cacereno. This was not going to be easy.

The Final – First Leg

I was nervous, despite this tournament not exactly ranking high in the world (even the Glasgow Cup was higher than it in terms of European Reputation), I was nervous, it was my first final with Oviedo and we had a serious chance at bagging some silverware. Not only that, but I knew the fans would want this too, they didn’t care if it was a lowly tournament; the excitement involved with watching their team lift a trophy would satisfy them. So, I naturally picked my strongest possible lineup.
Cacereno team news: Playing with an unusual 3-6-1 pyramid formation, Cacereno clearly possessed a threat up front. The prolific Argentinean Matias Saad was the top-scorer in the tournament so far and was sure to cause us problems at the back. However, I remained optimistic that we could expose their defensive weaknesses, hoping my front line could counter them in numbers.

Oviedo team news: As you may notice I chose not to play our usual 4-1-2-2-1, in fact I hadn’t for a while. Following our recent poor run of form, I decided we needed a change. I basically only pushed up my DM to a AMC, but in doing so I had created a much greater attacking threat, allowing me to play Cervero, Diaz, Xavi More and Mansare together up front for the first time. Fit-again Xavi More would be relied upon to create chances for Cervero and Diaz, with both Casto and Lucien Owona recovering from injury in time for the final.

Oh no. Despite taking the lead early on through our dangerman Xavi More, Cacereno picked us up and showed us who’s boss. First half goals from Stoichkov, Valverde and Toni put Cacereno in pole position for the cup, and it was only a quarter of the way done.

We had no answer to our prayers, when we did manage to get the ball in the back of the net through Cervero, it was disallowed for a suspicious offside call. As if just to rub salt in the wound, Cacereno added their fourth through Ferrer in the second half, and we were surely doomed.

The Final – Second Leg

We may not be out of the running just yet, but I knew nothing but a stunning home performance in the second leg could even stand us a chance of some silverware now. Nevertheless, the fans were brilliant, a near-capacity crowd of 28,000 turned up to watch their heroes play, if anything hoping for a respectable performance to reduce the arrears.
Cacereno team news: Cacereno made two changes from the side that demolished us 4-1 in the previous leg, Fuentes replaced Vargas in the net and Carrizosa came in for goalscorer Ferrer in defence. Their formation and attacking line remained the same, however.

Oviedo team news: I opted to make four changes; on loan Real Madrid man Josep Sene was brought in for the unfit Pepe Diaz, Galder Cerrajeria came in for Salva, fit-again David Fernandez came in for Pedro Baquero and Martin Mantovani replaced Javi Cantero, allowing Alvaro to move to his favoured left-back spot. Our formation remained the same.

Wow! Before the match began, my hopes of a surprise comeback were very bleak, never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined this. Josep Sene gave us the lead early on in the night, before adding his and our second just before half time. Suddenly, our chances of an unlikely comeback were looking more hopeful, however a single away goal for Cacereno could dash our ambition.

We again came out roaring in the second half, early on we won a penalty, questionable I’ll admit but I couldn’t care. 28,000 fans, including myself, held their breath as Diego Cervero began his run up.....AND HE SCORED! This was amazing, the stadium erupted and I could not believe what I was seeing. This was what I had dreamed of when I first joined this club, this was the passion behind Real Oviedo.

We were now ahead on away goals, if we could just see the game out we would lift the err, famous Federation Cup. Both David Fernandez and Alvaro scored with their heads from corners, and at this point we were cruising. The fans inside the stadium were already getting into the party mood at this point. However, the stadium fell eerily silent when Saad pulled one back for Cacereno with four minutes still to play. I was bricking it at this point, I can only imagine how the fans felt; one more goal for Cacereno would win the cup for them on away goals.

Despite pushing hard and throwing everyone forward in search of a goal, for once we defended well. We sat back and mopped up the pressure, and at the full time whistle the fans enjoyed a pitch invasion. It was a phenomenal feeling, it might not have been a very prestigious bit of silverware, but it was my first with this club and the first of my short career; I was proud of it. As I stood on the podium with the team to lift the trophy, I once again had to pinch myself to check I wasn’t dreaming, it was such an amazing feeling.

And as we celebrated in the changing rooms after the game, I received a very welcome surprise. Former Oviedo player and current Portugal manager Paulo Bento walked in the changing room to a rapturous applause. He told me he had watched the game from the stands and was overjoyed at the way I had the team playing.
And, as he left to sign some autographs for the fans (and even some of the younger players), he embraced me, and told me,

”That was superb! If you keep playing like that, I can see Oviedo back in La Liga sooner than we though! You could become one of the greats, my friend.”

At this moment in time I realised I was not just here to achieve a play-off place, no.

I was here to get this team to the top


Superbly done old chap ;)
Well done
I don't know how you would turn around a 4-1 deficit, but my god you did it in style :D Great work on the Cup win, maybe small, but hopefully it is just the start! Keep it up :D
2013-07-27 21:14#123393 lwalter66 : I don't know how you would turn around a 4-1 deficit, but my god you did it in style :D Great work on the Cup win, maybe small, but hopefully it is just the start! Keep it up :D

Neither do I, I had given up hope so didn't even bother going attacking, but we just couldn't stop scoring :D
Anything goes in a final in terms of impact and differences. Turning around a 4-1 deficit with a 5-1 smashing proves that. Simply heroic! Well done :D
That was a ridiculous comeback, a brilliant first trophy. Keep it up, next thing you know Oviedo will be competing for the CL ;)
Speechless after that come back. Didn't expect that at all mate great update as well! Congrats on the trophy!

The Final Push

We may have secured a remarkable comeback to win the Federation Cup final and earn my first piece of silverware as Oviedo manager, but we still had one other important matter to tend to – the league. More specifically, the play-off push. At the start of the month, we were languishing just outside the play-off spots, in 5th, but we were just one point behind Zamora. We knew that a single slip up from them could be seized upon by us. Atletico B were currently sitting pretty in 3rd, but they too could easily slip out of the play-offs. At this point in time, our fate was in our opponents hands.

Month Of March

We began the month with a stuttering performance against C.D. Marino, but a win nonetheless. Cerrajeria put us in front on the stroke of half time, but C.D. Marino levelled soon after the break through Rober. However, in a close game, we regained the lead moments later through a Martin Mantovani header.

Leganes 2-1 Zamora
Atletico B 1-0 Getafe B
Brilliant! Zamora had slipped up away to lowly Leganes, and we had overtaken. We were now 2 points ahead of Zamora, but remained 7 behind Atletico.

Next we travelled to Rayo B, and fell 2-0 down early on to two quickfire goals from Machado. Mantovani scored his second in as many matches to ease us back into contention, and after half time Cerrajeria and Cervero looked to have completed our comeback. However, Machado grabbed his hat trick 16 minutes from time and the game ended all square.

Zamora 0-0 Marino
Atletico B 2-1 Murcia
Thankfully Zamora also dropped points, keeping us 2 points clear of them. Atletico B produced a fantastic 2-1 win over league leaders Murcia and were now 9 points ahead of us.

Our next game was at home to lowly R.S.D. Alcala, and we took the lead early on through the in-form Cervero. However, in annoyingly typical fashion, our opponents levelled, as Tello found the back of the net just before half time, and we went in all square. However, we were once again left to call on midfield maestro Cerrajeria to win us the game, scoring his third goal in three matches to bag us the all important three points.

C.D. Marino 0-2 Zamora
Sporting B 2-0 Atletico B
Zamora again kept up the chase on us with a comfortable away win at C.D. Marino, however Atletico B slumped to a surprise 2-0 defeat to bottom of the league Sporting B, stark contrast to their previous result, and we were now only 6 points behind them.

We followed that up with an annoying 3-3 home draw against Sanse. As per usual, we took the lead early on through Diaz after just 2 minutes, but of course they levelled, through Sanz. Cerrajeria produced another goal to put us back in front before Casares extended our lead, but two late goals from Vaquero and Mena meant we were forced to settle for a draw.

Guijuelo 1-2 Zamora
A massive win for Zamora meant we were now only ahead of them on head to head, but as Atletico B did not play we closed the gap between us to 5.

Fode Mansare scored twice early on against Aviles to secure us a precious away win, as for once we were able to hold on to our lead and grab a rare clean sheet.

Zamora 2-0 Salamanca
Atletico 2-0 Ourense
Coincidentally, all of us won 2-0 this weekend, so the standings remained exactly the same. Zamora produced a very impressive win over title contenders Ourense.

(Wednesday) Fuenlabrada 3-2 Atletico B
Atletico B lost their game in hand to Fuenlabrada, so we remained 5 points behind them, going into a crucial make-or-break match against them.

March Player Of The Month – Galder Cerrajeria
Galder had a very impressive month for us, consistently popping up with vital goals as he scored in 4 consecutive matches. No one else deserved it more!

Months Of April/May

And so we began with a crucial home game against Atletico B and were able to win, producing our best football when most necessary. We did get off to a bad start, however, with Gerard firing Atletico B ahead on 11 minutes. However, Jose Vega levelled before Javi Cantero put us in front on the half hour mark. Borja restored parity in the second half, but Javi Casares soon put us back in front, before Diego Cervero sealed a crucial win for us.

Getafe B 2-3 Zamora
Zamora won another big match for them against Getafe B to remain hot on our heels, but our win over Atletico meant we were now just 2 points behind them.

Again we were able to keep a rare clean sheet, as we dispatched of Caudal 2-0 thanks to first half goals from our prolific strike force of Diego Cervero and Pepe Diaz.

Murcia 4-1 Zamora
Rayo B 0-1 Atletico B
After their recent impressive form, Zamora were brought down to Earth by a clinical Murcia side, finally giving us some breathing space ahead of them. Atletico scored late on to dispatch of Rayo B and remained ahead of us in the standings.

(Wednesday) Atletico B 2-2 RSD Alcala
(Wednesday) Zamora 3-1 Sporting B
As we did not play, Atletico B missed the chance to go 5 points clear of us, being forced to settle for just one at home to RSD Alcala. Zamora won to close the gap between us again.

We had slipped up last time against Real Madrid C, but were able to clinch another 2-0 win this time, away from home. Diego Cervero scored twice in the second half to bag us the maximum points.

Atletico B 1-0 Sanse
Zamora 1-3 Fuenlabrada
Atletico B stole a narrow 1-0 home win against Sanse to remain ahead of us. Zamora, despite taking the lead against Fuenlabrada, eventually succumbed to a 3-1 home defeat to leave themselves on the verge of elimination from the play-off race.

We played our game in hand away to Coruxo the next Wednesday knowing a win would put us above Atletico B on head to head, but the early signs were not good as we fell behind early on to a Samuel goal. In the second half I knew things weren’t working, so I made a bold move and brought on a tired Diego Cervero for a faltering Pepe Diaz. And it sure did work, Cervero grabbing a hat trick and an Alberto Garcia own goal clinching us a precious three points, all the goals coming in the final 15 minutes. We were finally up to 3rd place.

Next we had a frustrating home game against Leganes, knowing we had to win to remain in 3rd. However, no matter how hard we tried, we just couldn’t score. I watched in sheer disbelief as the Leganes keeper pushed away countless efforts. It was not all us, however, Casto himself was forced to make several important saves in a close game. We finally gained the lead and stole the 3 points late on, as Pepe Diaz found the net, to the relief of our fans.

Aviles 2-2 Atletico B
Ourense 4-1 Zamora
Atletico B slipped up again to hand us a 2 point gap over them, and Zamora slipped up again to finally seal their fate, against Ourense, securing a play-off for both us and Atletico B. But it was not over yet, I wanted us to land that 3rd spot.

Our penultimate match away to Zamora was what I always thought of as our biggest match of the season, but now in reality it really meant nothing. We succumbed to a late 2-0 defeat, with goals from Garcia and Hernandez handing Zamora the win, but it meant little anymore.

Atletico B 0-0 C.D. Marino
Salamanca 0-2 Murcia
Atletico B missed the chance to overtake us, as they suffered a goalless draw against C.D. Marino. Meanwhile, Murcia won the title decider match to snatch the lead away from their nearest rivals Salamanca, who were forced to contend in the play-offs.

And so we rounded off the main season with a convincing 3-0 home win against Marino, Pepe Diaz bagging a brace in the first half and Diego Cervero adding to our lead in the second. A nice win! Atletico B’s fellow 3-0 win against Coruxo meant absolutely nothing now, we had secured 3rd place.

April/May Player Of The Month – Diego Cervero
It just couldn’t have been anyone else but Diego. After not scoring at all in the first half of the season, Oviedo hero Cervero scored an incredible 21 goals in all competitions, all coming so far in this calendar year. With 8 goals in these six weeks, he clearly was a decisive factor as we secured a play-off place. Thank you Diego!

Final League Table

Job done! I had guided Oviedo into the play-offs, one place higher than our media prediction of 4th. However, we still faced the play-offs, as did all the teams above us. It’s a funny system, even the league winners are not guaranteed promotion, in fact the four winners enter their own play-off system, and the 12 remaining play-off qualifiers enter a separate tournament, which I’m assuming all join up later. Sporting B, Real Madrid C, RSD Alcala and Sanse all suffered relegation, with Coruxo entering the relegation play-offs.

We may have secured a treasured play-off place, but it was going to be even harder to win it.
Well done on getting a coveted play-off spot. It's not gonna be easy though :P (sorry not to fill you with confidence)
Superb update Rab, so detailed! COME ON OVIEDO DO *INSERT WHERE THEY'RE FROM* PROUD!


At the moment, I don't even know what to say. I had just done the play-off draw and updated about it, and decided to save. It was at this point that my computer decided to be a massive cock and overheat, causing it to crash. Then, when I loaded my laptop and FM back up, I got the message of death:

I am absolutely gutted, I don't know whether to be angry or upset. I finally thought I was getting somewhere with this save, and now this has happened. Before you ask, yes, I do have a backup, but it is from all the way at the start of March. No Federation Cup final, no secured play-off spot.

At the moment I will admit I am having my doubts about whether I should continue this story or not. I have only had a crash dump like this once before, and luckily then FM had auto-created a backup.

All I can ask of you is your support. I was really enjoying this save and don't want it to end, but at the moment I can't tell you what's happening. It is disappointing because it was my first story that I had made any real progress on, but that's just the way it goes I suppose.

Thanks for all the great support guys, it really helps me keep going.
:( I feel your pain bro
Go on Rabby! Don't quit it! I'm supporting you :)

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