Despite not playing since March, Athletic Club Women defeat Alaves 0-2
Athletic Club Women got their Primera Iberdrola preparations off to the perfect start with a 0-2 victory over Deportivo Alavés, in what was the lionesses’ first friendly of the pre-season.
Initially, the lionesses struggled to get into the game. Alavés pressed high up the pitch and Athletic struggled to play out of the back.
However, with 18 minutes gone Athletic took the lead. Some great play down the left flank by Athletic full-back Eunate lead to Alavés player Gastearena putting the ball into the back of her own net.
Athletic had to be on alert as Alavés reacted almost immediately. First with a deflected shot by Ane Miren and then Athletic right-back Oihane blocked a shot on the line.
Athletic head coach Ángel Villacampa made use of his bench and in the second half he brought on, keeper Andere Leguina, defenders Andrea Sierra and Nerea Nevado, as well as 20-year-old striker Leyre Monente.
Furthermore, in the 62nd minute the coach brought on Ane Elexpuru, Bibiane Schulze, Mariana Cerro, Alejandra Estefanía and María Díaz. In the end, eight of the youth players in the matchday squad managed to get vital minutes on the pitch.
It was midfielder Mariana Cerro who, in the 66nd minute, put through Nevada to give Athletic the 0-2 lead. Minutes later, there was a chance for a third when winger Marta Perea sent in a cross from the left which striker Paula Arana came close to putting away.
After that, the game slowly ebbed to its conclusion. Almost six months after the lionesses had last played a competitive fixture against an outside opponent, Villacampa’s squad picked up a well deserved victory.
A much needed boost with the start of the 2020-21 Primera Iberdrola season now mere weeks away. The lionesses kick off the campaign in Lezama against Deportivo Abanca on October 4.