After a week of intense training in Germany, Athletic are scheduled to play two friendlies over the weekend and faced off with Paderborn on Saturday night. The match began better than expected when Mikel Vesga played a long ball over the top of the defense in the first minute. The pass fell to Gaizka Larrazabal who let it bounce once then volleyed it past the goalkeeper from just outside the box.
With an early lead, the Lions looked to control the match but Paderborn wouldn’t be silenced for long. In the 15th minute, Iago Herrerín made a diving save but the Germans were able to equalize from the resulting corner kick. The cross was flicked on at the near post and Mikel Balenziaga was beaten at the back post to make it 1-1. Athletic would then have a few chances to restore their lead.
Iñigo Vicente was played in on goal and tried to chip the goalkeeper who got a hand to the ball before the winger had a second chance later on that was blocked by a defender. Vicente then sent Raúl García through with only the keeper to beat, but his first touch was heavy and the chance went missing. Paderborn started to build momentum and were able to take a 2-1 lead just before halftime with a shot from outside the box.
Gaizka Garitano responded by bringing on Unai Simón and Aritz Aduriz for Iago Herrerín and Kenan Kodro to start the second half. Just over ten minutes into the second half, Paderborn would add a third goal with a ball over the top of the defense. The Mister then brought on more changes which saw the Lions step up their game and start to take control. It was far from over.
Iñigo Córdoba pulled one back for the Basques by intercepting a pass from the goalkeeper and lobbing the ball into the back of the net. Athletic continued searching for the equalizer which finally came with just minutes left in the match. Oihan Sancet received the ball in the box and tried to chip the keeper but his shot hit the crossbar and fell to Iker Muniain who cleaned it up. There was no time for another goal as the game ended 3-3, but Athletic will be back in action on Sunday when they face off with Borussia Monchengladbach to end their week in Germany.