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Fuenlabrada - the mighty challengers: Part 1 (30th September, 2017)

11 minutes.

11 minutes decided the fate of three teams, who had competed over the entire season with ferocity and were all set for a nail-biting finish.

In third, fourth, and fifth, heading into the final game of the season, Fuenlabrada, Rayo Majadahonda and Leioa were all on 60 points. The head-to-head records of the teams were pretty clear - Fuenlabrada would win any hypothetical matchup, and Rayo would win in a matchup against Leioa.

Entering the 78th minute, Leioa were 2-0 down at Arenas, Rayo were 1-0 down at Barakaldo, and Fuenlabrada were winning 2-0 at already relegated Sestao River.

Then all hell broke lose.

Arenas scored in the 78th minute. Almost in unison, Leioa scored in the next minute, but so did Rayo - which meant Leioa had to win. In the 81st minute, Leioa scored and then four minutes later Leioa scored again.

But it wasn't over. Aitor Córdoba was sent off, exposing the Leioa back line, and Arenas' Nacho Pérez scored to kill all hopes of a comeback. And the 2016-17 league season ended with Fuenlabrada and Rayo Majadahonda in the playoffs - Fuenlabrada were denied promotion by two penalties.



In just a few months, Fuenlabrada have competed for promotion to the Segunda, signed a center-back from a La Liga side, and will now be playing Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey.

If they are going to hope for an Alcorcón-esque victory, they have the player to make it happen - Rubén Sanz. He was the number 10, on the tip of the midfield, when the Madrid side famously beat Real Madrid 4-0.

After relegation from the Segunda B with Valladolid B in 2000, Rubén Sanz joined Langreo in the Tercera, with whom he achieved successive promotion and relegation to and from the Segunda B in 2002 and 2003 respectively. With nowhere to go, Sanz joined Alcorcón in 2003.

He is the Alcorcón player with the most appearances - he has 432 competitive appearances for the club. And it's not even close - in second is Nagore with a 184 and in third is Sergio Mora with 180.

He played for the club till 2016, helping the club reach the Segunda and challenge for La Liga promotion in 2013. Now at Fuenlabrada, the hopes for a 2009-esque performance lie on him.

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