Bilbao Athletic 4-1 Barakaldo: V Is For Victory
Bilbao Athletic’s chances of qualifying for the promotional playoffs are dwindling. The Katxorros entered the weekend 10 points off of 4th place Barakaldo and hosting the very same at Lezama. A win on Saturday was absolutely necessary to keep pace in the race for the top four and it’s safe to say that Kumeak were up for the challenge.
Just 13 minutes into the match Asier Villalalibre was taken down in the box while challenging for a header. The referee immediately pointed to the penalty spot and Villalibre stepped up to take. He sent the goalkeeper the wrong way and gave Bilbao Athletic and an early 1-0 lead. Barakaldo quickly started to push higher up the pitch but the Katxorros looked dangerous every time they were on the ball.
The first half ended 1-0 but the match was far from over. Barakaldo came out strong after the break and eventually found the equalizer with a finish at the far post. With the game back level, it was anyone’s match until Barakaldo saw a player sent off for a second yellow card. Bilbao Athletic knew it was their opportunity to make up valuable points and went on the attack.
Manager Aritz Solabarrieta brought on Iñigo Vicente and Victor San Bartolomé in the 64th minute and they provided the spark that the team needed. Three minutes later Dani Vivian restored the lead for the Kumeak by finishing off a corner kick. Bilbao Athletic knew that a one-goal lead wouldn’t be safe enough to guarantee victory and continued their onslaught.
Vicente beat his defender on the left side of the box in the 87th minute and expertly set up Victor for the team’s third goal. For good measure, Vicente also assisted Villalibre inside the box in stoppage time to lift Bilbao Athletic to a convincing 4-1 win to move 7 points off of 4th place. With Villalibre, Vivian, and Victor all finding the back of the net and Vicente giving two assists V really did stand for Victory on Saturday.