6 Athletic Club Players Debut For Euskadi In Scoreless Draw Against Panama
The Basque Football Federation has made massive strides since announcing that they would apply for international recognition with FIFA and UEFA in December. Javier Clemente was recently named as the new manager of Euskadi and the EFF has worked hard to increase their presence on social media. The Federation has been operating as a more serious entity over the past few months and Wednesday night’s trip to Panama was another great opportunity for growth.
Euskadi played Panama to a scoreless draw in the team’s first trip outside the country since their 2-1 win over Estonia in Tallinn back in 2011. Being an unofficial match, it wasn’t surprising to see a relatively empty stadium without much atmosphere. Neither side put on an impressive performance but it was still a special night for six Athletic Club players who were able to make their Euskadi debuts.
Iago Herrerín and Gaizka Larrazabal were both named to the starting lineup in their first appearances with the Selekzioa. Herrerín made a tremendous save in the first half and was strong in the air while Larrazabal did well on the right wing. In the second half Asier Villalibre, Iñigo Vicente, Dani Vivian, and Jesús Areso all came into the game which seemed to change the dynamic of the match.
Villalibre was an immediate problem for the Panama defense who were very physical with the 21-year-old. Vicente also showed flashes of brilliance while Areso and Vivian were strong in defense. The result may not have been what the Basques were hoping for, but it was still a night that these six players will never forget. Athletic’s Aritz Aduriz, Mikel San José, Mikel Balenziaga, and Iñigo Martinez also featured in the starting lineup for Euskadi.