FC Barcelona B fall by the minimum at home to Olímpic de Xàtiva in first game of 2016

Carles Aleñá looks to pass on Saturday night at the Mini Estadi in Barcelona. / VÍCTOR SALGADO-FCB
Despite plenty of chances, the reserve squad can’t get on the board at the Mini Estadi


FCB, 0
Olímpic de Xàtiva, 1

FC Barcelona B: Ortolá, Juste (Kaptoum, min 55), Costa, Ros (Campins, min 55), Quinti, Gumbau, Aleñá, Samper, Aitor (Babunski, min 69), Maxi Rolón and Cámara

Olímpic de Xàtiva: Diego, Arthur, Mendoza, Berna, Alexis, Rifaterra (Dani Gómez, min 82), Polaco (Vaquero, min 23), Luismi, Cifo (Victor, min 67), Navarro and Samu

Goals: 0-1, Rifaterra, min 25

Attendance: 681

The FC Barcelona B team didn’t have a whole lot of luck in their first game of 2016 — albeit not for a lack of trying — losing at home to Olímpic de Xàtiva, which struck gold with their only scoring chance of the game. After falling behind in the 25th minute, the Catalans pushed hard for the equaliser, but one goal was waved off and another shot caught the post as their struggle to climb further away from the relegation zone ended in disappointment.

Xativa’s goal came after a cross from the right wing ended with the ball playing dead inside the Barça penalty area, where Olímpic captain Eduardo Rifaterra was able to pounce, beating FCB goalkeeper Adrián Ortolá for the game’s only score.

Down a goal but with plenty of football still in store, Barça dominated dominated possession as they tried to draw level but soon became clear that Saturday was not going to be their day.

Barça B had two crystal clear chances – both from the left side — in the last quarter of an hour. First, a Sergi Samper cross that was redirected by Carles Aleñá and then finished by Juan Cámara was disallowed for an offsides call that was so close, it could only have been measured in nanometres. After that, luck abandoned Gerard López‘s team altogether when a play that was started by Cámara ended in a shot by Aleñá at point-blank range that somehow, as if the ball had been retro-fitted with a homing beacon, found the post.

The loss leaves FCB in 17th place in the table with one game remaining in the season’s first half.