Hole­bas sees Wat­ford to Boro win

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Jose Hole­bas’s pow­er­ful strike saw Wat­ford to a 1-0 win away to Mid­dles­brough in the Premier League yes­ter­day.

Vic­tory saw Wat­ford climb to ninth in the ta­ble but the result con­demned north­east side Mid­dles­brough to a fourth de­feat in five league matches.

Greece in­ter­na­tional Hole­bas’s goal was a rare high­light in a largely unin­spir­ing con­test where ref­eree Roger East turned down sev­eral penalty ap­peals of vary­ing merit at the River­side Sta­dium.

“I’m very sat­is­fied be­cause we won an away game in such a dif­fi­cult sta­dium,” Wat­ford man­ager Wal­ter Maz­zari told the BBC. “I’m mainly (sat­is­fied) with the char­ac­ter of the team but I’m less sat­is­fied on the over­all per­for­mance.”

He added: “In the first half we were al­low­ing too much on the right side and in the sec­ond half we man­aged to make some mod­i­fi­ca­tions and stopped them at­tack­ing on the right side and we’re happy about this.

“I’m happy. It’s go­ing very well. We could’ve had one or two points more at this stage. We’ve been play­ing all the games well with the ex­cep­tion of Burn­ley away.”

Dis­ap­pointed Boro boss Ai­tor Karanka added: “We played the first 35 min­utes re­ally good and I told them at half-time we couldn’t play the way they were play­ing in the last 10-15 min­utes. The sec­ond half we couldn’t play. “Had we scored the chances we cre­ated at the be­gin­ning of the game maybe we’d have won the game. “When they scored it was im­pos­si­ble to play. They’re re­ally ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers. We need to learn and keep go­ing. The only way we know how to play is the way we played the first 35 min­utes.”

Mid­dles­brough had the greater share of possession in the first half but rarely threat­ened the Hor­nets’ goal. Ste­wart Down­ing fired a third-minute half-vol­ley over the cross­bar and Gas­ton Ramirez dragged a shot wide.

Mid­dles­brough’s Al­varo Ne­gredo had a penalty ap­peal re­jected as he went down un­der the com­bined chal­lenge of Younes Kaboul and Nordin Am­ra­bat, who was for­tu­nate to es­cape sanc­tion for grab­bing his op­po­nent’s shirt.

Mo­ments later, Boro had a far less con­vinc­ing penalty shout when Down­ing headed against Am­ra­bat’s arm from point-blank range be­fore fir­ing the re­bound wide of goal. Boro de­fender Ben Gib­son tried his luck with a 35-yard shot but the match was still goal­less come half­time. The home side ap­pealed un­suc­cess­fully for a penalty early in the sec­ond half when Ne­gredo went to ground fol­low­ing a chal­lenge by Hole­bas.

At the other end of the pitch, Hole­bas gave Wat­ford the lead in some style when, hav­ing latched onto Marten de Roon’s clear­ance, he smashed a fierce shot high into the top cor­ner and be­yond stunned goal­keeper Vic­tor Valdes.

Ramirez had an­other penalty ap­peal turned down after fall­ing to the turf fol­low­ing a clash with Miguel Bri­tos eight min­utes later, and in the clos­ing stages it was Wat­ford who al­most grabbed the game’s sec­ond goal when a shot from Isaac Suc­cess was saved by Valdes.

— AFP

MID­DLES­BROUGH: Wat­ford’s French mid­fielder Eti­enne Capoue vies with Mid­dles­brough’s Uruguayan mid­fielder Gas­ton Ramirez (R) dur­ing the English Premier League foot­ball match be­tween Mid­dles­brough and Wat­ford at River­side Sta­dium in Mid­dles­brough, north east Eng­land yes­ter­day.

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