Athletic Club and Recreativo de Huelva reached a one-all draw and our team have obtained…
Athletic Club and Recreativo de Huelva reached a one-all draw and our team have obtained 40 points which helps psychologically speaking, not just because of the reasonable number of points that separate us from the damn relegation spots or because there are many teams beneath us, but because we have achieved the same number of points we had at the end of last season and there’s still eight matches left to go. Therefore we can breathe a little easier and next Sundays’ match against Espanyol should provide us with the positive backing we need.
Amorebieta scored the first goal against his own team and Aduriz scored the equalizing goal in minute 82 of the game, both of which were headers. This is the fifth consecutive match our team have played without losing and despite not being as solid as on previous occasions, the positive inertia is always a good sign.
It wasn’t an easy match. It was a do or die affair for Recreativo as could be seen in the first stages of the encounter. The locals, who were keener, were able to penetrate all too easily and, almost in the same measure, Athletic were unable to move the ball around. In the 7th minute Poli took a shot at goal from way back which was caught by Armando, who had made his reappearance and Álvarez got ahead of Llorente who had received a pass from Gabilondo in the 10th. Recreativo had already stirred things up on the field, aided by the wind, an element which curiously helped them out during some stages of the second half as well.
In only a few minutes Recreativo had put the match back on the right track. Sinama took a shot at goal but his header struck the cross bar in the 13th minute, however, the ball rebounded and was volleyed towards the goalposts and then deflected to corner under pressure. The corner kick that followed was taken by Carlos Martins and Amorebieta unintentionally headed the ball into the back of the net resulting in a one- nil lead for the locals on the scoreboard. Things were uphill and there weren’t too many signs of our team being able to react.
Things could have been worse because of the intervention of Iraola and Sinama in the 18th minute which almost resulted in a goal being scored as Armando was not in the goal area, but luckily Ustaritz was able to deflect the ball to corner. Our team started to organize themselves better which meant the Red-Whites had more ball possession and were in the opponent’s end of the field. Up until the half-time break, with the exception of the odd scare, the few goal scoring opportunities to be had belonged to the Red-White team, starting with the one to one between Llorente and Sorrentino which was interrupted by an inexistent offside ruling. Despite everything, the best play came in the 30th minute when Etxeberria and Susaeta combined to send the ball under pressure to Iraola who just wasn’t able to finish it off, nor could Gabilondo who just had to guide the ball in.
At the end of the first half Athletic left the field with three quarters of their defensive line having been given a warning (fortunately Ustaritz was only given a yellow card after his skirmish with Sinama, however, it’s his fifth yellow card) and many doubts. After the break Recreativo sent Zahinos in to replace an injured Beto, and Athletic sent Aduriz in to replace Etxeberria. The new-comer had an opportunity shortly afterwards, but Sorrentino guessed what he was up to and was able to catch his deep header. The second substitution for our team came about when Orbaiz was injured, and Garmendia was sent to cover the double pivot position along with Yeste, an offensive course of action in an attempt to create opportunities to equalize the match.
Things weren’t going our way, the match was falling apart, and Athletic could not take advantage of the situations and it was obvious that the hosts were feeling more and more comfortable. Zambrano’s men had three goal scoring opportunities in a relatively short period of time. Sinama in the 55th which Del Horno was able to send to corner, in the 60th when Rubén’s volley taken from the border of the goal area sailed over the cross bar and in the 65th Sinama was at it again with a great individual play taking advantage of, among other things, that the rivals were card weary, and whose line shot from the edge of the goal area had just barely missed.
Soon afterwards, in minute 68 of the game, another “reappearance” could be seen. In this case the reappearance of Muñoz who was sent in to replace Yeste, in the meantime Recreativo sent Javi Guerrero in to fill the void left by Rubén. The clash was going nowhere as neither team could finish the ball off. Fortunately, Athletic Club were able to do just this in the 82nd minute when the pass by Iñaki Muñoz could not be deflected by Sorrentino or a defender, resulting in a loose ball in the goal area which Aduriz was able to head into the back of the net. A valuable draw which permits us to keep our distance, to improve our goal average and to maintain our positive streak.
There was an immediate reaction from the locals on the bench and Ersen Martin was sent in for Varela and from that moment on the Andalusian team based their attack on lobs directed towards the goal area. Nevertheless, Aduriz, already in the 93rd minute, had the best opportunity, even though a defender was able to take the ball off him when the forward was about to take a shot at goal whilst in the goal area.
Recreativo deserved to win, but all points are welcome on the road towards peace of mind, even when our team does not play well.