The events took place on 15 September 1963 in the city of Barcelona. The Sarrià stadium, owned by Espanyol, was the setting for Levante’s first goal in the top flight of professional football. In fact, it didn’t take an eternity to uncork their opponents’ nets in the Primera División. Nor was it necessary to appeal to the divine intervention of the gods in an event without parallel in the history of the Blue and Reds’ league history. The clock was ticking towards the 23rd minute of the opening act when the triangle of Vall, Wanderley and Ernesto Domínguez aligned their thoughts in a reciprocal fashion to bewilder the Catalan side. It was not a line-up to be attributed to chance. The three players were decisive in the development of the 1962-1963 season.

“Vall’s run down his flank with a short cross to Wanderley and the latter to Domínguez who finished impeccably into the net”, described Diario Deportes in the edition of Monday 16 September 1963. Mundo Deportivo emphasised the weakness of the home side’s defence in scoring the goal. “On 23 minutes, a new and rapid advance down the right wing of the away side’s front line with a pass from Wanderley, in an outside right position, towards the centre, which the Espanyol defence failed miserably, and Domínguez was able to finish off the first goal of the afternoon”. Beyond the achievement of the goal narrated, and the virulence shown by the Blue and Reds’ attackers, it is possible to emphasise the pedigree of the goal scored by Domínguez.

There was divine justice on the Sarrià pitch. The boots of Domínguez, probably one of the most distinguished and egregious players in the centenary history of Levante, immortalised a significant event in the story that makes up the Levante institution and the First Division. The mathematics highlight the fact that in the most recent time it will be sixty years since Levante’s goal-scoring debut in the current Liga Santander ecosystem. What is certain is that the goal capitalised on the confrontation between Vallejo’s team and the Blue and Whites’ collective.

It was probably the kind of match that coaches would prefer to banish from their memory in view of the cascade of goals scored (4-4). The goalkeepers left the match troubled by the action of the goal. However, the flip side of that idea, the torrent of goals, magnified the memory for the fans of a match characterised by the continuous alterations in the scoreboard. Levante seemed to impose their strength in a demonic start after goals from Dominguez and Wanderley. However, by the end of the first half, Kubala and Mercadé had restored parity (2-2). And Espanyol seemed to be chained to victory after Mercadé and Boy’s strikes in the final chapter (4-2). Just when Levante seemed to be sinking into the darkest of darkness, Quique’s men came out of the blocks to make it 4-4. Camarasa and Vall, with the game nearing its end, certified the formidable resilience of a group that did not collapse despite the forcefulness of the blows received, in the form of goals, and the muscular injury to Domínguez that caused Levante to face the final minutes with a numerical inferiority on the pitch.

It was a match of sparks with continuous oscillations. That duel attracted a lot of media attention. It is clear that for the Levante side it was a kind of baptism of sorts after the promotion to the elite, formalised in the first days of June 1963 after the eagerly awaited victory over Deportivo de La Coruña in Vallejo’s home ground (2-1). Everything was new for a team that was trying to acclimatise to a territory as hostile as it was unfamiliar. The illustrious Primera División loomed on the horizon as a challenge of colossal proportions. The game was on the players’ agenda. For the most part they were facing a space to be discovered and colonised. The roots with the promotion were still there. For their part, Espanyol presented Kubala in an official confrontation after his unexpected conversion into a player of the Periquito club during the summer period. The magician of the ball, an emblem of the Barcelona of the rickety and gloomy times of Franco’s regime, crossed the Diagonal to settle in the aristocratic district of Sarrià. In Barcelona, the debate about this unsuspected trip was thorny and sharp.

The weather threatened to postpone the match. It rained fiercely in the days leading up to the match that marked the start of the 1963-1964 league competition. The shadow of the suspension was threatening. The Granota expedition suffered all kinds of setbacks on their journey from Valencia to Catalonia. In fact, the group reached the Barcelona capital at the stroke of ten o’clock on the Saturday night prior to the start of the league campaign. Quique recorded, via telephone, the terrifying journey undertaken from the Vallejo coliseum. In the bowels of Sarrià, and with the fragrance of the duel still enveloping the stands, Domínguez analysed the achievement of such a historic goal. “How was my goal? His message was earthy. “It was easy. A combination between Vall and Wanderley whose final pass I was able to take and send into the net”.