Bilbao Athletic Down Tudelano 1-0 With Goal From Gorka Guruzeta
Last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Salamanca was a disappointing result for Bilbao Athletic who had to manage without several key players. Despite the result, the Kumeak kept their place near the top of the table and returned to Lezama at Saturday in search of three important points. Joseba Etxeberria’s side was nearly at full strength as they welcomed last-placed Tudelano.
Facing an opponent in the midst of a relegation battle is always challenging and Tudelano were no different. The visitors started the game strong with a high press that forced Bilbao Athletic to play long balls forward but the Kumeak would eventually settle into control of the game. Both sides would force a handful of saves from the opposing goalkeeper in the first half, though the final ball was often missing.
Bilbao Athletic managed to create more chances in the second half and would finally open the scoring in the 65th minute following a nice run from Jon Morcillo. The winger sent a shot off the far post and the rebound immediately fell to Gorka Guruzeta who quickly put it into the back of the net. The Zurigorri would nearly double their lead minutes later when Morcillo put a shot just wide of the far corner.
Tudelano’s search for an equalizer would be denied as they failed to create and real problems in attack. Bilbao Athletic’s defense held strong throughout the remainder of the game, though Álvaro Núñez was questionably sent off during stoppage time. The right-back was booked while trying to fix his shoe which had broken during a challenge and was immediately given a second yellow card.
The victory at Lezama lifted Bilbao Athletic to just three points off of first-placed Logroñés who will be in action on Sunday. Joseba Etxeberria’s side are one of the favorites to qualify for the promotional playoffs and will look to add another important three points during next weekend’s trip to Osasuna.