Osasuna will go ahead to Bilbao for the second leg of the Cup semifinal, on April 4. Jagoba Arrasate’s team, with a goal from Abde at the beginning of the second half, strikes first, and now everything is at the expense of what happens in San Mamés in a month. The Navarrese fans, who packed El Sadar, left exultant with the victory, which is a dream in a season in which their team brings more joy than disappointment.
Herrera, David García, Jon Moncayola, Juan Cruz, Aridane, Aimar Oroz (Pablo Ibáñez, min. 86), Lucas Torró, Moi Gómez (Brasanac, min. 85), Abde (Kike Barja, min. 76), Ante Budimir ( Kike García, min. 71) and Chimy Ávila (Rubén García, min. 71)
Julen Agirrezabala, De Marcos (Lekue, min. 58), Íñigo Martínez, Daniel Vivian, Yuri, Muniain (Nico Williams, min. 64), Dani García, Berenguer (Raúl García, min. 58), Vesga, O. Sancet and Williams (Guruzeta, min. 82)
goals 1-0 min. 47: Abde.
Referee Jesus Gil Manzano
yellow cards Berenguer (min. 40), Vesga (min. 43), Ante Budimir (min. 52), Moi Gómez (min. 54), Íñigo Martínez (min. 63) and Brasanac (min. 91)
Anyone who thought that Osasuna and Athletic would launch into the attack from the first minute was wrong, because although neither of the two teams gave up stretching as soon as they felt the slightest weakness in their rival, they also kept guarding their own goal as a treasure, because they already He knows the clichés that there are many minutes ahead and the second leg remains. With the hyper-motivated crowd, the Arrasate team pushed with their usual courage, but with a cool head. All that was missing was to look at the thermometer, below zero and at game time.
Athletic, which counted on the surprising presence of Iñigo Martínez in the rear, who did not play due to injury since November 13 and was not even called up last Sunday, expected a stormy start that did not take place, and which upset him a so much. Valverde placed Dani García and Vesga in the middle, the couple for matches in which he has to suffer, and which has rarely worked. Gaizka Garitano tried it first, then Marcelino and now Valverde, but the technicians in the training field will see something that the results do not corroborate. Despite putting up the armor, the landing did not take place, although Abde, the most boisterous in the rojilla vanguard, shot out after five minutes towards the edge of the area, in the corridor opened behind by Athletic. His shot ended up in a corner.
Athletic replied a while later with a shot from Muniain that was poisoned when hitting a defense, and Herrera took it out stretching his leg when he was already winning on the other side. He scored Williams on the rebound, but was offside by many yards. They were the only dangerous arrivals in the first half, beyond the crosses into the area from Osasuna’s wings, in which Agirrezabala always had an advantage.
Osasuna pushed more, but not too much, and he lost steam as the game headed towards halftime, but he was activated again as soon as he returned from the heat of the booth. It took De Marcos seconds to freeze, and he turned into an ice statue when Abde received in midfield and hit a 50-meter run in which only Vivian came out in his path but prevented a foul just in case, so the Moroccan followed his own and shot across to put his team ahead.
The goal messed up Athletic and raised the morale of the Arrasate troops, to whom courage is supposed to be ex officio, and who pressed in search of a greater benefit. He stalked Agirrezabala’s goal for a few minutes and forced Valverde to move the bench to shake the game in his favor. With Raúl García on the field, the Bilbao team was, at least, more solid, but without being able to overcome the red lines in which the piecework of Moi Gómez and Torró almost completely dismasted the attacking efforts of Athletic.
The people of Bilbao tightened in the final part of the game, but Osasuna circulated comfortably for the last quarter of an hour, without allowing visitors joys. The reds seemed tired but they played intelligently, stretching only what was necessary, when the script required it. He oxygenated the Arrasate team and managed to get it to the final minutes, despite the push from Athletic, but Osasuna pressed very high and made Valverde’s men uncomfortable, who despite everything, was able to equalize in minute 93, when Raúl García combed back a ball finished off by Guruzeta and saved by Herrera. Despite the partial advantage of the Navarrese, everything remains for San Mamés, which will be a caldera. If Athletic’s visit to El Sadar broke the attendance record, the same could happen in Bilbao.
You can follow EL PAÍS Sports on Facebook and Twitteror sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.