Athletic advance in the Copa

Athletic advance in the Copa

The Lions, accompanied by a great following at El Sardinero, beat Cayón thanks to a Villalibre brace and a Nico Williams strike at the end

Athletic Club moved into the Copa round of 32 after defeating CD Cayón 3-0 at El Sardinero on Thursday night. An Asier Villalibre double and a beautiful late finish from Nico Williams rewarded those fans who made the trip across to Santander for the game.

Cheered on by more than 8,000 Athleticzales, the Lions wrapped up the match quickly. With just 25 minutes played, a couple of Villalibre goals had given Athletic a healthy lead. First the Buffalo finished off a fine team move and moments later he coolly tucked away a penalty, given after a handball in the box.

Los Rojiblancos had a few more chances before the break, with the no.20 and Peru Nolaskoain having efforts saved by Pablo Galnares.

Cayón looked to pull one back after the restart. Julen Agirrezabala was called upon to deny striker Carlos Cagigas early in the second half.

Young midfielder Mikel Jauregizar came off the bench to make his senior debut around the hour mark as Athletic looked for a third to kill of the game.

Ernesto Valverde, saving most of his regular starters for Sunday's clash with Granada, brought on the Williams brothers and Oihan Sancet for the last quarter.

To the delight of the Athleticzales in Santander, Nico sealed the win with a shot across goal almost immediately after taking to the pitch. Sancet could have scored a fourth, but his attempt was saved by the home goalkeeper.

It looks like Copa fever is once again starting to spread among Athletic fans.