Bilbao Athletic 2-1 Arenas: Vicente And Villalibre Lead Comeback Win At Lezama
Bilbao Athletic were looking to build on last weekend’s draw on the road against Mirandés while also defending their unbeaten streak at home. It was the first time that the Katxorros have gotten a positive result outside of Lezama under Aritz Solabarrieta and with it came confidence. On Sunday they hosted Arenas Club in what would be another challenging fixture.
The match started slowly with neither team finding a rhythm easily. This would eventually lead to the opening goal when Arenas found the back of the net after a beating a defender on the left side of the box. Going behind early stunned the Katxorros for a moment but they immediately shook it off and started attacking and looking for a quick equalizer.
Asier Villalibre and Iñigo Vicente would both have great chances to beat the keeper, but the best opportunity came in the 30th minute. Villalibre was taken down in the box while trying to get on the end of a Vicente pass and was awarded a penalty. The striker stepped up to take the shot but saw the keeper make a diving save in the corner. Halftime came with Bilbao Athletic still down 1-0 and a lot of work to do after the break.
Solabarrieta’s side knew that more chances would come and they would need to take advantage of mistakes. That’s exactly what happened in the 54th minute when Arenas gave the ball away in midfield. Villalibre played the ball into the box to Vicente who settled it and curled a low shot past the keeper and into the far corner to level the score. Having equalized, all of the moment was with the Kumeak.
Regardless of the score, the best moment of the game came in the 70th minute when Oihan Sancet made his return. The midfielder suffered a torn ACL in the second game of the season and has been working hard over the past 6 months to get back on the field. He was brought on for Victor San Bartolomé and looked strong and composed in his 20 minutes.
Arenas pushed back and nearly rescued their lead in the 73rd minute. A long shot from outside the box was put on goal, but Unai Etxebarria made a diving save to deny the visitors. Bilbao Athletic would get the ball back off of the resulting corner and put together one of the best possessions of the season. Nearly every player touched the ball as they worked it up the field until Vicente was eventually played into the box. The midfielder then sent a low cross in to Villalibre who finished in front of goal to give the Katxorros a deserved 2-1 lead.
Bilbao Athletic managed the final minutes well, keeping Arenas from being able to put anything together in attack. The 2-1 win saw the Katxorros pick up an important 3 points and extend their unbeaten streak to 4 games. They will be back in action next Sunday with a trip to Izarra where a win could move them even closer to the top 4 and a shot at the promotional playoffs.