Athletic Club 6 – CD Mirandés 2 – FC Barcelona, our rivals! Athletic Club has…
Athletic Club 6 – CD Mirandés 2 – FC Barcelona, our rivals!
Athletic Club has qualified to play in the final match of Copa after eliminating Mirandés (6-2, Muniain, Susaeta, Aurtenetxe, Llorente twice, and César, in his own net. Aitor Blanco scored two goals for Mirandés). It was a magical night in which the fans witnessed a stupendous football match and as a result, Athletic Club will play its 37th Copa final. In 1904, Athletic won Copa without playing the final match, and it is very possible that Los Leones of San Mamés could win their 25th Copa. The last time Athletic played this Tournament was in Valencia in the 2008/2009 season. Bilbao was filled to the rafters with Athletic fans before and after the match. Our rival will be the winner of the encounter between FC Barcelona and Valencia CF. The stadium and the date of the final match has not been determined as of yet.
Our team stepped onto the field to finish the job that they commenced in Anduva, Miranda De Ebro, but the outcome wasn’t worthy of immense praise because Mirandés scored their goal in overtime. Athletic Club was the clear winner of the semi-final matches between Mirandés and Los Leones. CD Mirandés performed at a brilliant level throughout the entire qualifying stage. The team from Miranda, coached by Carlos Pouso, were supported by the media and football aficionados from all over Spain, and were more than able adversaries.
Nevertheless, the semi-final match had all of the ingredients that are required for matches at these high levels. Fans chanting their teams, chanting in the stands and at the end of the match not a single aficionado jumped onto the field. The team has been performing so well, proving once again to their legions that they belong in the Copa final.
What is more, Marcelo Bielsa stated in a press conference that the main goal for our Club was not to just reach the final match, but to win the Cup. ‘Koparen bila!’ will have to wait three months. Although each match is different, Athletic has proven to be a serious adversary against all clubs, and they always look forward to winning a match. Mirandés coach, Pouso, mentioned that Athletic was an aggressive team, and he was absolutely right. Our team didn’t fall asleep and tried to finish their opponents very early in the match. Three years ago, in the semi-final match, Sevilla travelled to San Mamés with a 2-1 advantage, but after an unforgettable night, Athletic overpowered Sevilla 3-0.
The first goal in the match came in the 10th minute. De Marcos could not control the ball, but Muniain, always alert, fired the ball to the net putting Athletic 1-0. Mirandés was groggy after the first goal, and the second one came in the 14th. Susaeta, with his left foot, scored after a beautiful offensive play by Llorente, Iraola and De Marcos. The third goal came in the 22nd minute of the match. Susaeta passed a soft ball to Aurtenetxe, and with a header placed the ball in the net. Mirandés was suffering and minutes after the third goal, Llorente, against little opposition, struck the ball out of the field.
In the 33rd minute, Infante blasted the ball, but Iraizoz blocked it. It was the first shot to the net by Mirandés. Amorebieta’s header was tapped away by Nauzet and a short time later, Llorente kicked the ball to the stands. Before the end of the first half, Mirandés started creating offensive actions.
In the second half, Mirandés made their first substitution. Alain was substituted by Muneta and Borrel for Iribas. The initial minutes of the second half were not prosperous for Athletic. In the 56th, Mirandés scored their first goal of the night. Javi Martínez kicked the ball off the field. Mirandés served the ball from the corner to Athletic’s area, and after a couple of ball bounces, was shot to the inside of the net by Aitor Blanco (Aitor Blanco was substituting for Corral.). 3-1!
Iturraspe was substituted by San José, and Bielsa placed Javi Martínez in the centre of the field. Marcelo Bielsa also imparted a few changes in his defence system and placed three midfielders. Llorente could not take advantage of a beautiful pass at that moment. Mirandés had a superb chance to score a second goal. Fortunately for Athletic, Muneta fired the ball out of the field in the 67th minute. Garro substituted for Martins, making it the third and last change for Mirandés. In the 71st, a precise pass to Llorente, and El Rey León softly elevated the ball out of the reach of the goalkeeper, and the ball to the net. Another great goal!
In the 77th minute, Susaeta’s bicycle kick ricocheted off the field by Nauzet. Iñigo Pérez substituted for Herrera. In the 75th minute, De Marcos passed to Llorente and he was able to aim and score for goal. A few minutes later, David López substituted for Muniain, who received a standing ovation from the local crowd. Herrera also received one as well.
Mirandés didn’t throw in the towel and Muneta became their force to reckon with. In the 86th, Muneta shot the ball, Iraizoz was unable to block it, and Garro touched the ball with the head, which rebounded towards Aitor Blanco, thus scoring the second of the night for Mirandés. In the 88th of the match, Athletic scored the sixth goal of the evening. A pass by De Marcos, was touched unintentionally by Cesar, a former player from Athletic, and the ball entered the net. Lanbarri came very close to scoring for Mirandés, but his well-placed shot went outside.
Undiano Mallenco was not the protagonist in this encounter. When Mallenco blew the whistle to pronounce the end of the match, the fans exploded with ecstasy. Athletic supporters applauded the players from Mirandés. This victory provides Athletic with a ticket to participate in next year’s UEFA Europa League.