Athletic played their fourth friendly of the summer on Thursday when the Lions traveled to Soria to face off with Numancia. With a big game against West Ham on Saturday, Gaizka Garitano left several key players out of the squad. Despite the situation, Athletic wanted to put in a strong performance and keep their unbeaten streak alive but Numancia wouldn’t make it easy.
Just seven minutes in former Athletic striker Guillermo would open up the scoring. The 26-year-old was given plenty of space and blasted a low shot into the bottom left corner from outside the box. Unai Simón dove, but was unable to get a hand to the ball. Playing in front of their own fans, Numancia had all the momentum and immediately started looking for a second.
Athletic didn’t create much going forward. The Basques had a few good attacking sequences, but the last ball was missing. Simón would be forced to make two great saves before the halftime whistle to keep Numancia from increasing their lead. Garitano would bring on Ibai Gómez for Iñigo Vicente after the break and Athletic immediately took control of the game.
In the opening minute, Athletic nearly found their equalizer when a corner kick fell to Iñigo Martinez at the far post but the defender was unable to direct the ball on goal. Then, in the 56th minute, Gómez put in a fantastic free-kick which Dani Vivian was able to head over the goalkeeper to pull the Lions level in Soria.
With the score now level, both sides pursued the winner though chances were few. Numancia would hit the post in stoppage time but neither side would be able to break the deadlock. The friendly ended 1-1 and now Garitano’s team will start preparing for two friendlies this weekend, including a trip to London to face off with West Ham.