Osasuna 0-Athletic Club 0Osasuna and Athletic Club have drawn at nil in the match that…
Osasuna 0-Athletic Club 0
Osasuna and Athletic Club have drawn at nil in the match that closed the matchday. A blocked and balanced match, and in which the clearest opportunities have been for our team, however Ricardo kept his cool in his goal. Second consecutive game without scoring or allowing and though the European position is costly, the options are still there and to keep them Sunday’s match in San Mamés against Mallorca could be decisive.
For the derby to be disputed in Iruñea, Ustaritz played the right wing in Iraola’s place, finally Orbaiz was the one in charge of replacing the slightly-injured Iturraspe and Yeste occupied in the left wing the place that has lately seemed destined for Gabilondo. The match began as expected, without truce or room for doubt. Long balls towards both areas and all power in the air in search of a second ball, an argument which Camacho’s men handle quite well in the old Sadar.
Balance, endless fighting and disputes, but very little tangible danger, so much so that to see something substantial it would be necessary to wait until the minute 21 when Pandiani took advantage of the almost collective slip up of our defence to shoot, however the ball ended up in corner. Five minutes later Rúper shot directly into Iraizoz’ hands and in the 28 a shot by Juanfran almost played a dirty trick on Iraizoz, but he was able to ward off the ball with his fingertips.
And that’s when it’s possible to say that the local’s options ended and the offensive prominence, without bragging, changed sides with turn for Llorente, twice. First he headed a corner serve in the minute 31, but Ricardo parried to corner, after which San Jose shot high, also with a header. Llorente’s second attempt took place in the minute 39, when he stuck in his toe cap to a cross from the right by Toquero, who was making a comeback after his injury, but Ricardo once again reacted on time to make the save for his colours.
In those dynamics, with some ball possessions, our team felt more comfortable, but any attempt of pressure to recover the ball was almost always destined to failure, because Osasuna executed its repertoire well to save the rival’s midfield in search of Aranda and Pandiani. Besides, the aforementioned did not mean that the reds were not extended in pressure and at times it even resulted difficult to get out from the back.
Before the break, a distant volley by Javi Martinez was saved by Ricardo, while Amorebieta and Aranda continued with their individual war. On re-start of play, no changes, the difference was noticeable as far as the reduction of game pace and the one that appreciated it most was Athletic Club, the first of the contenders in making a move. Susaeta replaced Gurpegi, once again insulted in the Navarrese capital, and shortly after he had a clear chance of opening up the marker, but his final shot was weak and centred enough for Ricardo to not have any difficulties making the save. Athletic was more powerful on the field, but in this type of match the comings and goings make them jacks-in-the-box, and we have plenty of historical experience to reflect this.
Osasuna continued doing their thing, although more and more convinced that a draw would benefit them more than us and we can only recall as a clear dangerous option a distant shot by Pandiani easily saved by Iraizoz in the minute 61. Our players didn’t squander away either, although three minutes later Yeste barely missed a cross from Iturraspe.
The match fell asleep and not even the science fiction ditty of Tajonar versus Lezama (only applicable yesterday to Javi Martinez) would bring the match out of a draw, so much so that the changes in Osasuna’s rows became news and a reflection of the intensity of a game played without concessions, with nobility, but without intensity.
The chronicle tells that Masoud replaced Aranda in the 67, Oier, who was injured in the first leg in San Mamés, substituted a cramped Etxaide in the 76 and Vadocz came in shortly after to replace an also ‘rigid’ Rúper. The evidence tells us that the muscles of several footballers screeched which goes to show the pace with which the encounter was played.
With eight minutes left in regulation time Muniain replaced Llorente and while the tables were not badly seen by Osasuna and Athletic had more ball possession, the match ended around Ricardo’s goal. Very close, so much so that as in other outings the lack of good aim penalized us. Toquero had the opportunity of getting us up to sixth position, but his incursion ran into Ricardo’s legs. In the end, we share the three points and have four match days left to give our all toward the European objective. Three of the four appointments are in San Mamés and the collective effort is worth the trouble to exhaust even the last of possibilities.