Iñigo Martínez, during the final of the Cup.RFEF / RFEF
The Basque football party is until the end of the match. Then it becomes a funeral for one of the contenders, because a final is only won by one team. The merriment was mounted in San Sebastián ; the duel, in Bilbao.
In any case, despite what is said in the previous days, the party is not so much, at least at the beginning. The Athletic and Real players came out onto the La Cartuja lawn with serious faces. They denied themselves, that they were the same ones who had described the final as a party. It didn't look like it. Imposed gestures, predictable movements, security passes to avoid damage … Even when it started to rain, some of them changed their boots to long-heeled ones. They could not allow a single slip.
AthleticUnai Simón, Yeray, Íñigo Martínez, De Marcos, Yuri (Capa, min. 92), Unai Vencedor (Unai López, min. 67), Muniain, Berenguer (Villalibre, min. 75), Dani García (Vesga, min. 75), Williams and Raúl GarcíaR. SocietyRemiro, Monreal, Robin Le Normand, Igor Zubeldia, Gorosabel (Aritz Elustondo, min. 92), Martín Zubimendi, Merino, David Silva (Ander Guevara, min. 84), Portu (Ander Barrenetxea, min. 88), Oyarzabal and Isak (Carlos Fernández, min. 88) Goals0-1 min. 62: Oyarzabal. Yellow cards Dani García (min. 34), Íñigo Martínez (min. 61) and Merino (min. 70)
All very concentrated, more like for an exam than for a guateque. The Athletic center-backs were two of the 22 footballers who came out to play who were more concentrated. Iñigo Martínez and Yeray, Marcelino's usual partner, coordinated on the front, avoided falling into any distraction. The international, who played in the three matches of the national team under Luis Enrique, is the commander of the rojiblanca defense. Marcelino settled the debate on the accumulated minutes with a forceful phrase: "Better that he has played, because if he does not do it he will surely come back angry."
The two rojiblancos centrals completed an impeccable first half. All the balls to the area went through his head and his boots. The lateral centers of the Real always found the reply of Martínez and Yeray. The concentration of both was maximum. The best chance for Athletic, in addition, came in an action by Iñigo, who went up to finish off a corner and, when he was going down towards his field, he stopped with his chest a ball that fell from the sky and grabbed a shoe that Alex Remiro sent to corner with Fingertips
However, something happened with the beginning of the second half. Real came out a little better than Athletic and, in the first attack action of the San Sebastian team, Oyarzabal received in a corner of the area, looked for the center and the ball hit Iñigo Martínez's arm, when the Athletic player launched himself to the ground to cover spaces. The play ended in the VAR, which spent a couple of minutes trying to decide if the arm was inside or outside the area. He was out, or at least that's the answer that Estrada Fernández received.
Return to the grass
It was the first warning that something was not working in the rojiblanca defense as in the first 45 minutes. The second mistake was lethal, and could be even worse. Yeray missed on a single pass. The ball reached Merino, who put a deep ball towards Portu, who beat Iñigo Martínez the race. The Athletic defender put his foot in and hit the Murcian. Penalty and expulsion
Night of the ciborium for Real Portu, an uncheck that decides the
final However, history still had one more turn. The VAR checked the play. The referees in the booth deliberated for several minutes and finally asked Estrada Fernández to come and see the action. Iñigo Martínez, who had already left through the changing room tunnel, received the notice that he had to return. The referee reviewed the play over and over again, until he decided that the center-back had entered to play the ball. Before the incomprehension of the Real players, and a certain relief from the rojiblancos, Iñigo returned to the field.
Oyarzabal scored the penalty, which ultimately gave the title to Real and, from that moment, Martínez lost all concentration . His next two actions ended in realistic player feet. Although he tried to go up to support the attack, he did not connect any more shots. He left the field, like his teammates, with a serious gesture, as he had entered, but with more pain.
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