Athletic Club 1 – Eibar 1 Athletic Club were held to a one-goal draw by…
Athletic Club 1 – Eibar 1
Athletic Club were held to a one-goal draw by SD Eibar and have been knocked out of the Copa del Rey. Arruabarrena, from the penalty spot, gave the Blaugranas the lead in the second half and Aduriz equalised in the 89th minute, although the draw meant that the visitors qualified.
In neither of the two games did our team deserve enough to overcome SD Eibar’s order and discipline and, specifically in the game at the Cathedral, neither before nor after conceding the goal. This made it practically impossible to overcome the tie, despite the fact that we were playing against a lower-ranked side who were able to play their trump cards and exploit our shortcomings to perfection.
Therefore, as in the match against Sparta Praha, it was a draw in an icy atmosphere in which the most noticeable feature was the presence of several hundred visiting fans. Thus ends the current San Mamés’ journey in another knockout competition, in this case the Cup.
A symbolic farewell without victory. From that point of view it has no more meaning than being the last in a list of matches that began on 26 April 1914 with an 11-0 win against Vigo Sporting (Pichichi 4, Apón 3, Zuazo, J.M. Belauste, Iceta and R. Belauste). So a draw, defeat or elimination are, unfortunately, not unfamiliar circumstances.
In fact, not to go too far back in time, since the beginning of the 2000s, i.e. this century, our team has been knocked out in the round of 32, or first knockout round, on six occasions, the sadly recent one and those of 1999/00 by Rayo Vallecano -First Division-, 2002/03 by Real Unión de Irun -Second Division B-, 2003/04 by Gimnástica de Torrelavega -Second Division B-, 2006/07 by RCD Mallorca -First Division- and 2009/10 by Rayo Vallecano -Second Division A-.
All has not been so sad, as they have also reached two semi-finals (2001/02 and 2004/05) and two finals (2008/09 and 2011/12).
Be that as it may, being knocked out by Eibar is a full-fledged blot on the copybook, leaving us in the final stretch of this bittersweet calendar year – how quickly time flies – with only La Liga to look forward to. In the league, we face an immediate challenge on Saturday in Palma de Mallorca against a host team who are not in their best sporting form either.