RCD Mallorca 0 – Athletic Club 1 Athletic Club defeated RCD Mallorca 0-1 in the…
RCD Mallorca 0 – Athletic Club 1
Athletic Club defeated RCD Mallorca 0-1 in the second round match of the Copa Del Rey played in Palma De Mallorca. The only goal of the match came from an unfortunate play by Ramis who scored in his own net. Athletic will now play its fourth semi-final match in a twelve-year span, in which their previous rivals included Real Madrid, Sevilla and Betis. On top of it all, the Leónes of San Mamés will face a second division team. The first game will be played in Miranda De Ebro, against the local team, Mirandés, and the second match will be hosted in San Mamés in Bilbao.
Athletic travelled to Palma with only one thing on their minds; to reach the semi-finals, and their mission was accomplished by defeating Mallorca. Athletic did not play a great match, but with the advantage that Athletic brought from Bilbao and the victory of tonight’s match, it was sufficient to reach the semi-finals.
In the first half of the match, Athletic maintained complete control of the game but in the second half, Mallorca applied some pressure upon Athletic. In the 76th, Ramis scored a goal in his own net, and the match was basically over.
Everybody expected to be witness to an aggressive team, but Mallorca did not start out that way. On the contrary, Athletic was the only team who was trying to manoeuvre the ball with some intensity and order, and the few fans of Mallorca who were in the stadium became irritated with their team. Mallorca didn’t do much in the first half. Tissone in the 20th shot the ball out of the field, and in the 30th, Hemed kicked the ball to the stands. These two offensive plays were all what Mallorca had to offer in their offensive repertoire.
Athletic didn’t have to power up in this match. What occurred in the prior match of La Copa between Mallorca and Real Sociedad was a rare incident. It was clear from the beginning that there weren’t going to be a lot of goals in this match. Athletic didn’t have many offensive chances, but those that presented themselves were good ones. In the 21st, Muniain had a great opportunity to score the first goal of the night after a big mistake committed by Chico. Luckily for Mallorca, Calatayud halted the shot.
Ten minutes later, Susaeta sent the ball to De Marcos, and he shot the ball outside. Just a few minutes later, Muniain suffered a hit on his hip, was forced to leave the field and was substituted by Toquero. Toquero was placed in the right side of the field, and Susaeta on the left side. Muniain’s injury did not affect Athletic’s strategy, and the Leónes had two more chances to score in the first half. In the 39th, Herrera shot the ball and Calatayud tipped the ball. Llorente and Amorebieta also tried to score but without success.
The second half commenced without any substitutions for both teams and the first minutes of the match were quite boring; thus, there wasn’t much to talk about on my Twitter. The first serious opportunity to score was created by Mallorca. Pereira kicked the ball very hard, but Iraizoz stopped it in its tracks. The rest of the offensive plays came from direct shots from fouls.
Before the first hour of the match, Caparrós placed Víctor in the field and took Álvaro out, and for Athletic Club, Marcelo Bielsa called Herrera out and put Iñigo Pérez in his place. In the 65th, Llorente’s headshot was blocked easily by Calatayud. Athletic had problems with controlling the ball while in their possession. Cendros was replaced by Chory Castro and Mallorca set themselves up with three midfielders. On our side, Aurtenetxe was placed in the defensive line, while Iraola and De Marcos were placed on the side of the field. In the 75th, Victor shot outside.
The first goal of the match came after Ramis sent the ball back to his goalkeeper, and when the goalie tried to stop the ball with his foot, the ball made a strange bounce (possibly from a hole in the turf) and softly entered the net. 0-1. Many Mallorca fans started leaving the stadium while Athletic fans were celebrating the goal. Hemed tried twice to goal in the 77th, but no success. In the 81st, San José substituted for Llorente and Chico was ejected from the match for taking down Susaeta. The game ended with very little to talk about, but a lot to celebrate.
Athletic Club is already in the semi-finals and the dream to bring the Copa to Bilbao is alive and well. So far, Athletic hasn’t conceded a single goal in the Copa, and hopefully it will continue this way. Now, we have to play against Mirandés, a second Division B team that has defeated three first division teams: Racing, Villarreal, and Espanyol. Before the semi-final match, Athletic will play a La Liga match in Madrid against Rayo Vallecano.