Bilbao Athletic Kick Off The New Year With A 1-0 Victory Over Alavés B

Juan Artola Celebrate

Juan Artola celebrates his opening goal against Alavés (AC)

Bilbao Athletic finished 2019 on a very positive note with an impressive 2-0 win on the road against rivals Real Sociedad B. The result ended a string a four games without a victory and the Kumeak were eager to build on the momentum Saturday when they hosted Alavés B at Lezama.

Apart from Oihan Sancet not being available due to suspension, Joseba Etxeberria was able to field the strongest possible lineup which took control of the match from the opening whistle. It would only take 24 minutes for Bilbao Athletic to open the scoring when a ball was played over the top to Gorka Guruzeta. The striker did well to hold up play then found Juan Artola at the top of the box who settled the pass and beat the keeper to give the Kumeak a deserved 1-0 lead.

Victor San Bartolomé nearly doubled the lead eight minutes later with a free header in the box but saw his shot sail over the crossbar. Imanol García de Albéniz would then have his own chance from close range just before the break which was saved by the Alavés goalkeeper. Going into the second half Bilbao Athletic had enjoyed the large majority of possession and were relatively untroubled in defense.

The Kumeak kept the pressure on after the break but Alavés had an opportunity to equalize just minutes in when a header was sent over the bar. Feeling the visitors starting to build momentum, Bilbao Athletic created a flurry of chances with Artola having two promising chances to score his second goal of the game. The best opportunity of the half came in the 88th minute when Artola was sent through the middle but the goalkeeper made an incredible save to deny the winger.

After five minutes of added time the final whistle sounded as Bilbao Athletic secured all three points in an impressive 1-0 win. Etxeberria’s side could have scored more goals but the Alavés keeper put in a stunning performance. At the other end, Bilbao Athletic allowed only one shot on target which Jokin Ezkieta saved. Having reached the midpoint of the season, the Kumeak will now prepare to host Haro Deportivo next weekend at Lezama whom the defeated 4-1 in the opening game of the campaign.

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