Osasuna completed the first part of the plan to reach a final Copa del Rey 18 years later. I surpass the Athletic with a goal from Abde that it lacks the hypothetical values that the qualifiers of the recent past had, where there was speculation with one or another result depending on the condition of local or visitor. But it has an auxiliary importance – to strike the first blow in the 180-minute battle.
Those from Arrasate confirmed a favoritism that varied in real time during an intense game that decided a brilliant performance by the player on loan from Barça. Abde is a decisive profile in this type of tournament, which calls for temporary heroes, capable of raise the cut-off mark above average imposed by the fear of not failing.
This was a game that was played alone. With a cloud of steam that came from the soul of a full Sadar (record attendance after the remodeling). As if each throat were a smoke canister with which a tie was lit in which Jagoba Arrasate wanted to suppress the long round trip cadence. That is why Osasuna came out with a trident in attack (Abde, ‘Chimy’ Ávila and Budimir) to avoid excuses and take advantage of the positive pace of the League.
In the opposite field, an Athletic decimated by casualties, but very self-confident, with morale fueled by the ‘Txopo’ Iribar, who as a gift for his 80th anniversary only asked: “Bring me a good result.” In Valverde’s eleven, the great novelty was inigo martinez, who had not played an official match since November. In the lightning tactic that the locals wanted, Abde was going to have a great impact, a footballer who does not need a large newspaper archive of great quotes to understand them.
Short shirt and gloves for the Moroccan, who demanded the maximum defensive concentration in an Athletic that expressed itself well behind in the first half, but who never reneged on looking for options in attack. Muniain plowed the field. The Navarrese made grooves between the whistles of his native land to transfer the restlessness to Sergio Herrera, who assumes the difficult duty of being the Cup goalkeeper.
Magnifying glass on Gil Manzano
A great duty that made it relevant after a quarter of an hour, when he saw the ball enter his goal, but Williams was offside. Before, the man from Miranda de Ebro deflected a shot from the aforementioned Muniain. The occasion spurred on Athletic, who came up against the thunder of Sadar. There was not a clear dominator in the first 45 minutes, with two teams installed in the melee where it was seen the acidity of players like Berenguer and Vesgawho finished the first part with two yellow cards shown by Gil Manzano.
The criticized Madrid derby referee had to gesticulate and explain each of his decisions as if he were in court. The meeting was locked and blood poured from the face of intense players who fell into the imprecision that generates respect, although not fear, reserved for more decisive moments.
The second part began as Jagoba imagined the first, with a demonic apparition of Abde which ended with Vivian killed in combat and with the player on loan from Barça celebrating a goal. Like the decisive one that he scored against Sevilla in the quarterfinals and that will have to be pondered when the match ends. At this point, the value of him is maximum.
The goal was born in the boots of Moi Gómez, one of those players who raise the level of any team and that show the success of Braulio Vázquez, sports director of Osasuna. The first ditch towards a cup final 18 years later was dug. However, Athletic has a history that is activated in adversity. Valverde did not want to see a wound turn into bleeding and moved the bench quickly.
Raúl García and Lekue left in the first window of changes. Then Nico Williams came in and finally Guruzeta. Arrasate responded with Kike García and Rubén García, who were later joined by Kike Barja. Brasanac and Ibáñez completed the dance. Swaps without losing the north that two teams usually walk condemned to wait a month to settle this battle.
The crossing could have been even more even, but Athletic lacked success in the period of inspiration that each game enjoys, regardless of the face with which it began. Guruzeta could not overcome Sergio Herrera in the last play that could have tied the tie in the first 90 minutes. All in all, the narrow margin will turn the return match at San Mamés into a western where all the emotions of the first leg will be reset.