Athletic qualifies via penalty shootout against Elche after a two-goal deficit
Athletic Club is already in the round of sixteen of the King’s Cup after working hard at the Martínez Valero in Elche. The lions finished the match and the extra time in a 1-1 draw against the locals, and in the penalty shootout they were two goals behind. Raúl García and Unai López failed, and when everything seemed lost, Yacine sent his shot up and Herrerín stopped Ivan Sánchez’s. Yuri and Vesga scored and in the fourteenth, Tekio sent the ball away. It tasted like glory.
It was pure agony, because actually Athletic enjoyed very few chances. The clearest, without doubt, was a shot from Villalibre in the 107th minute, which San Román, who aimed to be the hero of the match, took out with a lucky leg. Iñigo Martínez almost scored from 60 metres. All that happened in the extra time.
The match could not have started better for the lions, when Iñigo Martínez threw Williams in a speedy shot to help him to make the 0-1. It was the 5th minute, and as against Intercity, the start in the Martínez Valero was perfect.
However, with all due respect, Elche is not from Third Division like the two previous eliminated rivals. They started to take the ball out with skill and forced Herrerín to impress with a shot from the front of Pere Milla. Pacheta’s team made the tie in 40 minutes, when Josan’s entry from the right was headed into the goal by Fidel.
At half-time, Garitano changed Muniain for Cordoba. Athletic started to command with more control, but without clear chances, except for one of Raúl García. Who did have the 2-1 was the local team. Óscar Gil, with everything in his favor, sent the ball to the stands. Then, in the extra time, Athletic was better, but not enough. In the penalties, luck fell on their side. Herrerín’s save was decisive.