A lack of clincal edge and a fine performance by Paula Vizoso condemn Athletic to a 1-0 defeat against Real Betis
A Gema Soliveros strike in the 62nd minute saw Athletic Club Women fall to an undeserved 1-0 away defeat against Real Betis on Saturday morning.
The Lionesses gave it their all, but it was not to be. Athletic dominated the clash, especially the second half, but despite having countless chances to score they come home empty handed.
Both side had opportunities in a high-tempo first half, but David Aznar's side definitely had the upper hand.
In the 10th minute, Athletic captain Mariana picked up a knock and was replaced by Sara Ortega. The young forward had a good chance shortly after coming on.
Ane Elexpuru made good decisions in attack and was sending in decent crosses for Ane Azkona and Nahikari García up front. Clara Pinedo had our best chance with a header that was cleared off the line. Real Betis threatened at times too, but neither side could break the deadlock.
Nahikari frightened the Betis defence after the restart when she got on the end of a Pinedo cross, but Vizoso blocked the effort. Betis' Carla Armengol went close at the other end. The opener came in the 62nd minute, Gema taking advantage of an defensive error to put the hosts ahead.
Aznar rung the changes as Athletic looked to fight back. Azkona got into the box after a good run, but she was denied by Vizoso. Carol Férez almost doubled Betis lead in the 77th minute after another mistake at the back, but her shot went just wide. Patri Zugasti had an opportunity to equalise, but the Lionesses had no luck in front of goal.
Betis squandered a series of chances and Las Rojiblancas were determined to take a least a point back to Bilbao.
Maite Zubieta had one last-ditch attempt in stoppage time, but Vizoso proved to be the hosts' saviour yet again.
The Lionesses' away curse continues. On Thursday they return to Andalusia, but this time to play Granada CF in the Copa de la Reina.