Athletic played their third friendly of the summer on Wednesday while away training in Holland. The Lions faced off with Eredivisie side ADO Den Haag in a match behind closed doors that also featured torrential rain throughout most of the game. Eduardo Berizzo elected to start a very strong lineup and the Basques were in control from the first whistle and didn’t take long to open up the scoring.
While ADO Den Haag were trying to clear the ball out of their own end it fell to Aritz Aduriz who was alone in front of goal. The striker did well to calmly beat the keeper to give Athletic an early 1-0 lead. At this point the rain really started to become an issue and the Dutch side were able to equalize before halftime. Unai Nuñez tried to play a pass into the midfielder but it didn’t go as far as planned and ADO Den Haag were able to counter attack to make it 1-1.
Berizzo changed ten players to start the second half, leaving on only Iago Herrerín in goal. It didn’t take long for the rivals to take the lead, when a loose ball fell to Erik Falkenburg who beat the keeper for the goal. Replay showed that he was clearly offside but the linesman claimed that he couldn’t see the line due to players who were warming up in front of him. Just minutes later the Dutch side would capitalize on a mistake between Cristian Ganea and Andoni López to extend their lead to 3-1.
Despite the score line and the pouring rain, Athletic continued to control the match and got an extra boost when ADO Den Haag went down a man. The Lions were able to pull one back late in the second half when a cross from Markel Susaeta hit a puddle in the middle of the box. Sabin Merino was able to win possession and slot the ball into the back of the net. Athletic could have completed the comeback, but for some reason the referee made the decision to end the game in the 87th minute despite the rain having stopped.
The match ended with ADO Den Haag having won 3-2 and manager Eduardo Berizzo told reporters that it wasn’t a game to analyze closely. Between heavy rain causing issues and questionable refereeing decisions this friendly was more about continuing to get into football shape before the start of the La Liga season. Athletic were able to create several chances and controlled possession well and that is what Berizzo chose to focus on after the final whistle.