Bilbao Athletic had a score to settle on Sunday as Cultural Leonesa visited Lezama. The Kumeak were beaten 5-2 earlier this season when the two sides met, the worst defeat of the campaign, and were determined to get revenge. Separated by just three points in the table, a victory would see Bilbao Athletic move to within striking distance of first place.
Beating Cultural would prove to be a daunting task. In addition to being without several key players, Bilbao Athletic would also be hosting a Cultural side who mere days ago eliminated Atlético Madrid from the Copa del Rey. Full of confidence, Cultural came into the match with every intention of picking up another three points.
The Kumeak started strong with Jon Morcillo and Oihan Sancet combining around the area on a number of occasions. Cultural would also create a handful of dangerous moments going forward, but neither side was able to take control of the match. The break would arrive with the game still scoreless but it wouldn’t end that way.
Both goalkeepers were tested in the second half and made the necessary saves as the game looked to be headed for a draw. There was nothing to separate the two sides in what was an evenly matched battle, though all three points would ultimately be decided by a single moment. Juan Artola played a short pass to Oier Zarraga outside the top of the box and the midfielder blasted a shot into the back of the net to give Bilbao Athletic a 1-0 lead with 15 lefts to play.
The score would hold until the final whistle as Bilbao Athletic earned the win and moved into a tie with Cultural for second in the table. It was a hard-fought victory for the Kumeak and a special moment for Jon Cabo and Álvaro Núnnez who made their debuts in the second half. Now just four points off of Logroñés at the top of the standings, Bilbao Athletic will travel to Salamanca on Saturday in search of another important result.