Joseba Etxeberria “We Played A Very Complete Match And Deserved The Victory”
Bilbao Athletic put an end to their four-game winless streak on Saturday as the Kumeak defeated rivals Real Sociedad 2-0 in a match full of drama. Jon Morcillo opened the scoring in the first half before Oihan Sancet was sent off which swung the momentum. After the break, La Real captain Ander Gorostidi was also sent out before Gorka Guruzeta doubled the lead to secure all three points.
“We played a very complete match, if not it’s impossible to win over Sanse who have a great team as well,” manager Joseba Etxeberria told reporters after the match. “We started very well, scored the first goal, and continued to create chances. The expulsion of Sancet in the 28th minute, and playing an opponent in front of their fans with one less until the 69th minute, is terrible wear and tear.”
Despite the 2-0 result, it was far from an easy match for Bilbao Athletic. However, Etxeberria believes the Kumeak were fully deserving of the victory and was encouraged by the performance.
“We deserved the victory. The last two defeats were quite cruel because we had created many scoring chances. We have seen the players with character and personality, which is very important. Lezama is a high performance academy, it’s not a campus. We have to try to help the players which means we demand more from them. Performances like today make us optimistic.”
Etxeberria wasn’t happy with Oihan Sancet’s two yellow cards, but sees it as a learning opportunity for the 19-year-old. Playing a large portion of the game at a disadvantage changed everything and the team was able to manage the situation.
“It’s true that Oihan only committed two fouls and was given yellow cards for both which left us with one less player in the 28th minute. It surprised us all, but I won’t make a very accurate assessment of the plays before it was a different situation. It really bothered him but you learn from everything. It’s a process. He’s a player with a big future and these experiences will make him better.”
In the end, Bilbao Athletic got the three points which moved the team back into the top four of the table. Winning on the road against Real Sociedad was a massive result and will help build momentum moving forward.
“What matters is that we won. In the past games we had one point out of twelve, which didn’t add up, and we had to change the dynamics. The team has been playing well. Sometimes that’s the most significant thing, although we weren’t getting the best results. La Real will be fighting for top places all season. It gives us confidence in the future to win this game despite our opponent being a great rival.”
Bilbao Athletic will be eager to build on Saturday’s victory in Donosti but will enjoy the Christmas break before taking the field again. The Kumeak will be back in action on 4 January when they host Alavés at Lezama with another important three points on the line.