The preseason is almost over. On Friday Athletic played the penultimate friendly of the summer, drawing 2-2 with Real Oviedo as several starters were left out of the squad. Once again younger players had another opportunity for valuable minutes in what was an interesting game at Estadio Municipal Carlos Tartiere.
Athletic took the initiative early on. For the opening 20 minutes the Lions possessed and passed the ball well. However, Gaizka Garitano’s side was unable to create any real chances in front of goal. After a slow start the hosts would grow more comfortable and soon began to close down the midfield and cause problem for Athletic’s defense.
Oviedo opened the scoring in the 37th minute when a cross into the box was put in by Ander Capa. The own goal was unfortunate, but also resulted in Athletic turning up the pressure. Five minutes later the Basques responded. Kenan Kodro dribbled into the left side of the box and slid a pass to Oier Zarraga who was making a late run. The 21-year-old calmly beat the goalkeeper with a left-footed shot to level the score before halftime.
Athletic struck again soon after the break with Asier Villalibre finding the mark. The striker rose to meet a cross from Iñigo Lekue and placed a header into the top corner to give Athletic a 2-1 lead. The score didn’t hold for long. Oviedo answered back at the hour mark to restore parity with a nice finish from Samuel Obeng.
The 2-2 draw was a fair result given the performance and coming away with no injuries was the top priority. Tomorrow the starters will be back in the lineup as Eibar visit Lezama for the final friendly of the summer. In just one week Athletic will kick off the La Liga season with a trip to Granada on Friday night.