Xisco the opportunist
Cordoba CF could not have got off to a better start. With the crowd urging them on, they made an intense start to the game and it did not take long for them to get their reward. A long kick by Brimah Razak and a mistake by the Girona defenders allowed the Andalusians to open the scoring. Nando played in Fidel, and his shot clattered Isaac Becerra's post. However, Xisco was there to get on the end of the rebound and beat the visiting keeper.
The Caballero-Xisco connection
Girona found it hard to absorb the early blow and the side managed by Jose Luis Oltra capitalised on their disarray to double their lead three minutes later. Carlos Caballero threaded through the perfect pass for Xisco to run onto behind the defence after losing his marker and he unleashed a superb shot to beat Becerra and make it a brace.
First chance, first goal
After the second goal went in, Cordoba continued to look assured of themselves out on the field of play and almost went three up when the ball came off Kiko Olivas and smashed the upright. However, the visitors were ruthless with their first attempt on goal. Following a bungled clearance from a set piece, Cristian Herrera pounced on a loose ball in the area and pulled one back.
A midfield battle
The goal and the passing of the minutes allowed Girona to settle and put themselves on an even footing with Cordoba. After the fast-paced start to the game, the interval in the dressing rooms gave way to an intense battle in the centre of the pitch, with neither side able to conjure up any chances worthy of note.
As the match drew on, both managers shuffled their decks in a bid to change the face of the game. Oltra placed his faith in Victor Perez to regain control in the centre of the park, whilst Pablo Machin opted to throw Eloi Amagat into the mix in place of Alex Granell. Nevertheless, the star of the show was Razak, who stopped a Ruben Alcaraz free-kick in the dying moments and allowed his team to secure a victory which gives them the upper hand heading into the return game.