Gaizka Garitano Praises Team For Comeback Against Cultural Durango


Gaizka Garitano was proud of his players who didn’t give up after going down 2-0 (MD)

Despite going down 2-0 against Cultural Durango on Sunday, Bilbao Athletic were able to mount an impressive comeback to seal a 2-2 draw with late goals from Victor San Bartolomé and Asier Villalibre. After the match manager Gaizka Garitano stated that he was happy to see his team respond to the challenge, although he and the players were unhappy with the result.

“It was a crazy game. We started very well and were close to scoring, but they found themselves with a penalty practically out of nothing. After that we had more doubts. In the second half we started very well again, creating many chances in front of goal, but when we were dominating they were awarded another penalty from an isolated play. We were down 2-0 and the team managed to turn it around and we pressed to try and score the winner, but in the last five minutes things got out of control. We were looking for the third goal more with our hearts than with our heads. I’m happy with the reaction of the team even if we are left unsatisfied with the draw and those final five minutes.”

Garitano went on to praise striker Asier Villalibre who scored the tying goal and then had to play keeper after Hodei Oleaga was shown a red card. The manager thinks that the 21-year-old is playing great football at the moment and is really improving this season.

“Villalibre was very tired at the end because he was playing his third game of the week, but he’s improving. He had to get physically well after a year and a half without playing and he’s getting better every game. He’s close to putting together a full 90 minutes which was something that wasn’t happening earlier this year. He’s playing really well.”

Bilbao Athletic are now 5 points off of the promotional playoff zone in the league table but can make up ground on Sunday. They will travel to take on second-placed Barakaldo in what promises to be an entertaining game. Garitano will be hoping for a great performance from his team and players like Iñigo Vicente, Gaizka Larrazabal, Unai Vencedor, and Asier Villalibre will have to be at their best to get a positive result.

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