CD Mirandes 1-Athletic Club 2 Athletic beat Mirandes (1-2) in the first semi-final Cup match….
CD Mirandes 1-Athletic Club 2
Athletic beat Mirandes (1-2) in the first semi-final Cup match. Llorente scored the two goals for Athletic in the first half and Lambarri in the extra time scored for the local team. Today’s result has been the best achieved by Athletic when playing as a visitor in the Cup. As a result of this positive score next Tuesday’s match may give us the passport for another final.
Anyhow football always provokes mixed emotions .It is not the same ending the match 1-2 after a 0-2 than after a 1-1.Therefore, we may have a bitter taste after the last local goal or even because we lost being unbeaten. Regardless of the circumstances, everything around this semi-final seems disturbing.
Firstly, we may not have taken into account that this is the Cup semi-final and at times our team seemed to have gone there to play like it was the first round. Read it aloud: Athletic has achieved a fantastic result in this first round which enables us to play for a place at the final at home, with advantage and with the protection of our supporters. Where do we have to sign in?
Secondly, although Cup finals were historically said to be disputed between Athletic and another team, the atmosphere before the match pointed out that the match in fact was between Mirandes and another team. Everybody was, and obviously is a Mirandes supporter. Everybody praises their heroic deed to an extent where someone even dares to conclude that everything was due to a Federative conspiracy against them, without having taken into account disallowed goals scored in non-existent off-sides. In other words, Athletic won, that was due to happen, even though everybody was, and is of course a Mirandes supporter, but the fact is that Athletic did not finish up the round. If the final score had been different, if the first division team had given in against the one of the lower division it would have meant an enormous rojiblanco failure and the Cup surprise would also have been confirmed despite the obvious differences. “Quick, more Wood”
The above mentioned would be far too simple to minimize the worth of both candidates in their way to the Final, each one on their lane, and too complicated as not to talk about “stakes high”. In Anduva, the red-and-whites, today in green, have been clearly superior during the first half and the locals have compensated forces during the second half achieving a goal which enables them to face optimistically the second- leg match although the favourite team is Athletic Club.
However, some slight facts could have made things change, if the goals scored by Llorente and Muniain at each half hadn’t been disallowed – both in correct position and fully legal as TV images demonstrated – the difference in the score would have been higher.
Despite everything, the final score is immovable, the best was the superiority during the first half where all occasions except a high header by Mujika were ours and by the first half we were already 0-2. Fernando Llorente the scorer on a roll scored his first 100 goals dressed in the Athletic shirt. Goal number 99 was in minute 18 after a great breakaway by De Marcos who served an exact pass for Llorente’s head. Then goal number one hundred was in minute 27 after a single move aimed with a low shot near the post. De Marcos, who received today a hard hit in his head, had also his chance in minute 36, but Nauzet deflected his passing shot. In minute 43 Susaeta almost reached a pass made by Iraola but he couldn’t hit into goal.
After these good vibrations, the break, and there were no player changes. The panorama of the second half left a boring sensation due to the lack of occasions and a lesser control of the visitors because his possessions were shorter in time and consequently slower.
Athletic started to receive yellow cards and only the changes done by Pouso interrupted cyclically the monotony which played in our favour. Lambarri substituted Garro, and Mirandes as it happened against Espanyol went further in order to balance the match.
It did not do much harm but the balance was gradually tipping in favour of the local team, better positioned and cheered on the stands despite adverse score. Martínez was the next player being cautioned and Cesar shot out with a header. Borrell substituted Alain and Mujika shot a hard kick against the post. All this happened in minute 63. Athletic didn’t have the control of the match but their capacity to do harm was intact. This was proven first in Munain’s move which was disallowed by the referee and then in other pair of counterattacks not very decisive. De Marcos shot out to Iraola whose innocent kick went straight to Nauzet’s hands.
Jose Angel in Muneta’s position was the third player’s substitution in the local line-up and Mirandes still didn’t surrender. Such circumstances are sure to have some influence as during this season they have only been defeated four times, twice in La Liga and twice in La Copa (including this time).
As expected the difference has narrowed even more in fouls and corners. Corral shot a fierce kick which was stopped by Iraizoz. It was minute 74. A bit later David Lopez substituted Susaeta. Mujika headed to Iraizoz. Then in the home straight, Iñigo Perez stood in for Munain. As it previously happened to Lopez, Iñigo’s entry has soon been ‘rewarded’ with a yellow card. Everything seemed to have finished, when in the injury time a long ball prolonged with the head got to Lambarri who scored a goal from within the area making the qualifying round look narrower. This, as it happens to alerts, changes the rank -from being sentenced to just being on the right track. The match changed from having high capacity and managing a substantial advantage in the first half to a weak second half.
In any case, Lanbarri’s goal makes us remember how to reach a final is not easy. The final is near and we will be able to win it if we trust in our own game for 90 minutes, supported by our fans in the welcoming atmosphere of San Mames where For sure the event will sell out and we will live its Sunday best. Let’s hope for our own sake.