Alcorcón 0 Athletic Club 1 Athletic Club have won 0-1 against Alcorcón in a Santo…
Alcorcón 0 Athletic Club 1
Athletic Club have won 0-1 against Alcorcón in a Santo Domingo stadium with a large number of red and white fans in attendance. Gurpegi scored our team’s goal in the second half and the ‘rojiblancos’ will face the second leg of the round of 32 at San Mamés with a good result.
What is called a serious match would be the summary of Athletic Club’s performance in this first cup tie, also demonstrating the ability to change register according to the circumstances of the match with almost the same players in Seville and in Alcorcón, regardless of exogenous factors. The reflection is not trivial, given the first-hand experience of last season’s defeat in Vallecas despite creating countless chances to score and, also, the legend of the “Alcorconazo”, given the excellent cup record in 09/10 and so far of the Madrid side, who had not lost at home since May.
Perhaps that is why the first few minutes were very even, with two teams who seemed to have known each other all their lives, without conceding metres to their opponents and with a tough fight for every ball, as if each one in dispute was the last one. In fact, until the 18th minute, with a high header from Llorente, there were no notable chances on goal. Both teams wanted to keep their opponents away from the box and opted for long balls and tried to make the most of strategic plays.
The equality was reflected even in the scoring chances or substitutes for them. In fact, the home side’s response was to head Alberdi’s header wide (23rd minute) from the umpteenth free-kick taken by Alcorcón in the area. Especially in the first half, the game could be defined as one of high tempo and little play.
Curiously, a player who in this type of match usually makes the right reading and stands out for his great work as a sap, was the one who was most in tune in front of goal. Midway through the first half, Gurpegi headed over from a corner, but a defender cleared the ball off the post when goalkeeper Raúl Moreno’s efforts had been in vain. Sanz, with a header just before the half-hour mark, restored parity in the number of chances.
In the absence of these, the final stretch of the first half only offered excitement around the doubt as to whether the referee was going to show a card to any of our team’s players, a raffle in which the tickets were accumulating.
The second half was a different story. Not radically different, but it was clear that our team had come out ready to take the game. After three minutes Iraola tried from distance with his left foot and Athletic were arriving and arriving. In front, Alcorcón had a name of their own, Mora, and although he was not as active as in the first half, he was still the catalyst for Alcorcón, as well as launching almost all the strategic plays, although Athletic showed they had it well studied.
And in the positive wave, in the 55th minute of the match, Gurpegi received the reward that had eluded him in the first half with a tremendous right-footed shot from outside the area that made it 0-1 and filled the hundreds of fans of our team present with joy, as well as giving more calm to the red and white game.
With the score against, Alcorcón made their first two changes in the 61st minute: Carlos Martínez and Sales for Jeremy and Montañés. Athletic did not take any steps back and persevered in their attempt to play mainly in the opposition half, albeit without danger.
With a quarter of an hour to go, Alcorcon’s top scorer this season, Quini, came on for Borja and the Yellows switched to playing with two natural strikers. It was the newly introduced striker who took the first shot on goal in the 80th minute! This clearly showed that, this time, the defensive work was efficient.
De Marcos replaced Susaeta, Orbaiz replaced an injured Martinez and between the two substitutions, Llorente headed high again. Finally, Aurtenetxe came on for Toquero to reinforce the central part of the defence and to defend better against the foreseeable forward balls in the classic final push of a team that is trailing.
An important victory to continue in the cup and to reinforce morale ahead of Getafe’s visit to San Mamés on Sunday. However, there is always some bad side, or less good to refer to, and that is the one that mentions the insults Gurpegi received. Not because they have been mentioned on other occasions and are well known, they should not go unpunished. For example, imagine that in the Tour of the Basque Country, several groups of fans called a cyclist, Contador, a junkie, while he was doing his job, a cyclist, who was loudly asserting his innocence. After imagining this, think about what the reaction of the federation and the media would be. Well, that’s just it.