Patxi Salinas “The Team Played A Great Match”
CD Basconia’s opening round promotional playoffs game against Portugalete went just like the team expected. With the modified ruling that there would be no extra time or penalties, the Basauritarras needed to win to advance as even a draw would have resulted in Portugalete going through. It was no surprise when Portugalete played to protect their advantage from the opening kickoff and came away with a 1-0 victory after scoring in stoppage time.
“The team has played a great match, but it’s sad because we didn’t deserve to lose,” said manager Patxi Salinas after the game. “We were the better team, controlled the ball and worked well, but we needed a goal to advance. We had to take risks in the last few minutes. We have a good future for Athletic, but this is football and we wish Portu, who is a great team, good luck.”
Salinas is right. Basconia were by far the better team, but Portugalete played with a system to slow the game down and focused on defending instead of trying to score. By the end of the game Basconia had sent everyone forward needing a goal and Portugalete took advantage of the space in behind.
“We had good control of the ball, but there were too many stoppages, too many interruptions, and something like that kills you in a playoff like this. We were the better team until the 80th minute and subjected Portu to our dominance from all sides. We played a game with high rhythm, which favored us, but we failed to score in one of our two very clear chances.”
Aside from being eliminated from the playoffs, Basconia’s first season under Salinas has been incredible. The entire team played at a high level and several players took an important step forward and will be ready to move up to Bilbao Athletic next year.
“The team has had a very good season. We deserved a victory, but when a draw would eliminate us, it killed us. We thought that we were going to win and that physically we were going to be the better team with players from the Segunda B. Nico (Williams) also helped us. He has brutal speed and quality. We hope to see him at San Mamés in a short time. I spoke with him before the game and told him this was a game to give everything. He helped us a lot and played well.”
Basconia will look very different next season with some players moving up to Bilbao Athletic and many being promoted to the squad from Juvenil A. Still, the team will be full of potential and quality with Patxi Salinas returning in hopes of taking Basconia back to the promotional playoffs.