Athletic Club 2-2 Huesca: Lions Can’t Hold Lead At The Cathedral
Athletic were looking to build on their season opening win over Leganés when they hosted Huesca at the San Mamés on Monday. It was the first ever trip to the Cathedral for the newly promoted club and the match promised to be a difficult affair. From the very beginning Eduardo Berizzo team were able to control the game but, like the previous showing, they struggled in front of goal while their opponents tried to take advantage of their chances.
Huesca were able to put the ball in the back of the net first when a buildup play saw Samuele Longo played through in behind the defense. He beat Unai Simón but the offside flag was already raised with Yeray and Peru Nolaskoain having done well to spring the trap. It was an early wakeup call for the Lions who then began to attack more aggressively. At the stroke of halftime Iñaki Williams would hit the post from a difficult angle, but goals would have to wait until the second half.
It would only take Athletic a few minutes into the second half to open up the scoring. Peru Nolaskoain and Iker Muniain did well to win back possession on the left side of the midfield and quickly went into attack. Yuri Berchiche sent a low cross into the box for Iñaki Williams who laid it off for Markel Susaeta. The captain calmly struck the ball past the keeper and into the far corner to give the Lions a 1-0 lead.
Right after the hour mark Athletic would double their lead. An attack down the right side found Iñaki Williams running into the box. He pulled the defense away from the center of the box and sent in a strong cross which skipped to a surging Yuri Berchiche. The left-back volleyed the ball to make it 2-0. At this point the game looked settled, but Huesca refused to quit.
The visitors would pull a goal back when Jorge Miramón was able to blast a shot from outside of the box after Athletic failed to clear the ball. With so many players standing in front of the ball Unai Simón couldn’t see the shot until it had rippled the net. Iñaki Williams then beat four defenders to get a tight chance in the box, but his shot struck the post again for what would have slowed down Huesca’s momentum.
Huesca would not be denied their equalizer. In the 86th minute Chimy Ávila received the ball at the top of the box with his back to the goal. He then turned around and volleyed a rocket past Simón to make it 2-2. Despite their efforts Athletic were unable to regain the lead as the game ended in a draw. It was a great showing from newly promoted Huesca, but also a match that Athletic will feel they gave away when three points looked settled.