Bilbao Athletic 2-0 Vitoria: Vicente And Benito Secure 3 Important Points At Lezama
With the Holidays now over Bilbao Athletic were back in action on Saturday as they hosted Vitoria at Lezama. The Katxorros were in need of a big win to continue chasing the promotional playoff zone of the table and would put in a strong performance at home. Manager Aritz Solabarrieta started a very strong lineup and it would immediately pay off.
Bilbao Athletic were in control from the opening whistle, although the final ball was missing. Asier Villalibre and Iñigo Vicente linked up a few times but were unable to put a shot on goal. The team then started to look for crosses into the box which troubled Vitoria’s back line. The visitors created a few chances of their own though Bilbao Athletic’s defense held strong.
The deadlock would finally be broken in the 41st minute when Villalibre was taken down in the box and awarded a penalty. Vicente stepped up to take the shot which was saved by the goalkeeper, but he was able to quickly finish off the chance to give Bilbao Athletic a deserved 1-0 lead. Villalibre would then have an opportunity to chip the keeper before halftime, but wasn’t able to lift the ball high even to find the back of the net.
Villalibre should have doubled the lead just minutes into the second half when Vicente played a pass across the face of the goal. The striker was alone with an open net in front of him but put his shot wide. Things would get even more difficult for Vitoria when defender Kaiser was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Antonio Salado. The sending off would prove to be a deciding factor in the outcome of the game.
Unai Vencedor forced a great save from the resulting free kick and Vitoria had no choice but to sit back in defense and try their luck on the counter. Vicente and Jon Sillero would have their own chances on goal, but it would be substitute Asier Benito who gave Bilbao Athletic a 2-0 lead when he scored his first goal of the season from a Villalibre assist to finish off the game and hand the Katxorros three important points at home. The team will now travel to Tudelano on Sunday in search of their second straight victory.