Athletic Club 2 – Mallorca 0 Athletic Club has defeated Real Mallorca by 2-0 in…
Athletic Club 2 – Mallorca 0
Athletic Club has defeated Real Mallorca by 2-0 in the quarterfinals of the Copa Del Rey that was played in San Mamés. Now, Athletic Club possesses a two-goal advantage for next Wednesday’s match in Palma De Mallorca. Llorente and Muniain scored both goals, both with head kicks, in a match that the Leones dominated from beginning to end. Although in the first half of the match Mallorca had a pair of excellent opportunities to score, Iraizoz was able to wipe out Mallorca’s golden moments. In the second half, on the contrary, Mallorca had to sustain Athletic’s counterattacks, and Mallorca, coached by Joaquin Caparrós, who received a standing ovation tonight, had only a few offensive counterattacks. When the match was coming to an end, the referee did not allow the third goal that was scored by Susaeta, and the referee’s assistant called offside. The goal was legal; Susaeta wasn’t offside. After this match, the team will have a well-deserved rest before the next important game that the Leones will play in Santiago Bernabeú against Real Madrid. If Athletic doesn’t allow any goals in Madrid, it will be their seventh straight match without receiving a goal.
For this match, Athletic expected to find Mallorca on the defensive and they were not wrong. Only the goalkeeper and Nunes were the reserve players; the majority of the players participated in most of the Liga matches. The team from Palma De Mallorca obviously came to Bilbao to cross swords and get good results. In the 6th minute of the match, Chory Castro had an excellent opportunity to score for Mallorca, but the ball, after hitting the foot of a player, was ejected to the corner by Iraizoz.
Immediately, after a corner kick, the referee yellow carded Fernando Llorente because apparently, Llorente hit Ramis. Mallorca kept defending fairly well. In the 18th minute of the match, Athletic had the first good quality chance to score the first goal. De Marcos passed a defence player and rapidly passed the ball to Aurtenetxe, who kicked the ball with his head. Calatayud was able to eject the ball away from the net area. Slowly but surely with the help from the loyal fans, Athletic started creating more offensive occasions.
Castro tried to score again, but his kick left the field towards the stands. In the 28th minute, he sent the ball to Mallorca’s defensive area, but no one was able to shoot the ball. In the 28th, Iraola passed to De Marcos and he shot to goal without any success. A few minutes later, Herrera fired the ball violently, but the ball left the field near the net. Mallorca waited patiently for their chance to create another opportunity, and Pereira with a hard shot could not score. Iraizoz was alert and blocked Pereira’s shot. Iraizoz was on his way to reach the sixth game without receiving a goal. There were some tense moments, with more open spaces to counterattack. And finally, the first goal of the night!
De Marcos escaped from his opponent and was able to send an accurate pass to Llorente. Llorente connected a precise head kick and scored the first goal. After the goal, Mallorca didn’t change their strategy and continued playing in the same manner. They only sent a couple of unsuccessful passes to the Athletic defence line. In the 43rd, Amorebieta sent a headshot out of the field.
After the first half, Athletic Club made some changes. Iñigo Pérez substituted for a weak Iraola. De Marcos was placed in the right side of the field and Athletic was looking to score again, but it was very important to end the match without receiving a goal.
On the opposite side, Caparrós left Hemmed on the bench, and he was substituted by Alfaro. Alfaro played in their defence zone, and Mallorca started the second half in defensive position. Tissone received the first yellow card of the second half, and his team member, Cendrós, received a yellow card as well. Iñigo Pérez fired the ball, and the Calatayud tipped the ball to the stands.
In the 52nd minute, Iñigo Pérez and Muniain didn’t communicate properly and Muniain, who was near the net, shot the ball out of the field. Nunes also received a yellow card for stopping Muniain’s furious attack. Athletic was unstoppable and the second goal arrived. Another offensive play by Athletic! Susaeta controlled the ball with his heel, and passed it towards Iker Muniain, who sent the ball to the net with a headshot. A great goal!
Two nil and 30 minutes left in the match. Real Mallorca’s plan did not change at all. Marti substituted Tissone and Castro with a yellow card was substituted by Nsue. Mallorca only tried to create danger by launching long passes to the area of Athletic Club from any location. Pereira sent a kick outside in the 65th, and Javi Martinez, in the 84th, also shot the ball to the stands.
After 2-0, Athletic kept the game under control. In the 74th, Iñigo Peréz shot the ball, but Calatayud quickly blocked it. The Leónes maintained the rhythm of the game very well. They constantly sent long passes, and kept searching for more goals. Muniain was yellow carded along with two other players from Mallorca, Joao Victor and Ramis. All this happened before Herrera was substituted by San José. Just a few minutes before the end of the game, in the 89th, the referee did not permit a goal scored by Susaeta. Last Saturday, Mallorca was unduly affected by the ref’s bad calls, but tonight, Athletic were on the receiving end.
In the end, a two goal advantage that may be enough to pass to the semi-finals; but there are 90 minutes in a match, and anything can happen in 90 minutes. Don’t forget what happened to Real Sociedad last week! After today’s match, Athletic will play three away matches. Hopefully, the team will obtain good results.