Mallorca 1 – Athletic Club 1Mallorca and Athletic Club drew at one goal each at…
Mallorca 1 – Athletic Club 1
Mallorca and Athletic Club drew at one goal each at Iberostar Estadi. Amorebieta, with a header, scored the rojiblanco goal in the first half’s injury time. Before that, just when the match kicked off, Alvaro put his team ahead in a match where goal occasions were scarce. The locals left the initiative to our team, with advantages or equality on the scoreboard and until the last ten minutes of the match there were no dazzling goal attempts. A period in which both teams could have tilted the match in their favour, however, in the end the rojiblancos came home with one point, that like all those games away from San Mamés, it would be all about making things right at home against Racing on Sunday at 19:45 hours.
To be quite honest, the match got complicated rather soon. During the first minutes, Mallorca found themselves with the possibility of playing one-on-one offensive moves before our defence and approached the area with certain ease, as in the 3rd minute when Alvaro gathered a clearance from Amorebieta in the area and with his right scored the 1-0.
As always predicting what would have happened had the scoreboard not opened up so soon is science fiction, but the match responded to expectations as far as our team would carry its weight. After the goal, Caparrós’ players strictly followed the script, though in the first minutes they pressed somewhat more when the ball exited, leaving that same area for Amorebieta. It cost Real a goal and although today Amorebieta was the author of the equalizing goal and was even close to a second, the situation was not comfortable because the long distance shots haven’t been accurate, and because the runs from the midfield haven’t been as constant as called for.
As the minutes passed, Athletic Club began to gain control. Things even got exiting as Toquero scored with a header in the minute 25, but he was off-sides. With the lack of other incentives, the emotion of who would be the next and part of the restlessness of the accord came at the hand of yellow cards shown by the referee. Pina inaugurated the relation relatively late, in the minute 29, but in the end they were eleven cautioned players, mostly justified. That relation did not have a direct effect on the result, but it did force a couple of preventive substitutions, or at least it justified them.
At last the first valid rojiblanco (green) attempt to the goalmouth came by means of a shot on goal by Susaeta with Aouate making the save in the 32nd. Mallorca hadn’t done so since their goal and in the first half a left-footed shot by Pereira, worthy of mention, even though it was turned away. Athletic was working it, but couldn’t find the right key to access the lines as they have us (wrongly)accustomed to and Mallorca continued their ways with relative calm awaiting events.
The following arrived in the minute 36: a wide shot on goal with the left by Aurtenetxe. Everything foretold that we would reach the break with a local minimal advantage, but things changed in injury time. Tissone was booked with a foul on Muniain. His shot on goal was deflected, from midfield the ball reached Herrera who, in the minute 48, from the edge of the area shot a cross to Amorebieta who made his debut as a goal scorer in the Liga.
Logic spoke of another match that was beginning, though things didn’t change excessively. On start up of the second half Bielsa brought in Gabilondo for Aurtenetxe, De Marcos was changed to the left wing and Iker Muniain playing inside with Herrera.
However, things didn’t change much. The vermilions threatened from the start, when in the 49th Iraizoz had to respond to Tissone who had penetrated a wall on the brink of the area. Iturraspe was booked with a yellow and perhaps to not have to undergo the similar difficulties suffered in Salzburg, immediately, in the minute 52, Iñigo Perez replaced him. Caparrós made a similar manoeuvre when he introduced Martí in the place of cautioned Pina.
Athletic could only presume of ball possession, something that is not always synonymous of a victory, as was proven last Sunday against Granada CF. Besides, at times the impression was that the locals would settle for a draw. Goal occasions were so scarce that they seemed non-existent.
Muniain tried it with a header, though over the crossbar, in the 68th, while our former-trainer shortly after exhausted his two remaining substitutions by bringing in Aki for Nsue and Hemed in for goal-scorer Alvaro.
The panorama didn’t change a bit until the last ten minutes. And what appeared to be somewhat boring went on to be emotions and goal occasions on both goals. Athletic Club took another forward step, but the hosts gained strength in the offensive and pressure when Hemed came into play.
Such as things were, in the 82nd, Pereira forced Iraizoz to work, and even in the later centre. The response came soon with a penetration by Gabilondo and a deadly pass, though Susaeta was waiting, he couldn’t find anyone to finish it off.
Between comings and goings, in the 88th, Iraizoz made a magnificent save from a line-drive from Hemed. On the counterattack by our team it couldn’t be finished off when Muniain lost the ball in the back after De Marcos entered totally unmarked down the other wing. And still clearer was the following play, with a header by Amorebieta after a corner kick in the 91st, but Chico cleared the ball from under the woods when it had already gone beyond Aouate. To finish off, Ramis even tried it with a header, but it was already too late and there were already too many goal occasions for what was lived on the pitch.
Ultimately, a relative justified distribution of points and now we must start thinking about the Copa which begins on Thursday, 8 December, in Oviedo, before retaking the Liga.