MADRID: Athletic Bilbao paid tribute to their supporters after an estimated 20,000 travelled an hour along the north coast of Spain to see their 2-0 ‘home’ victory over Osasuna in La Liga on Friday.
Bilbao, playing at Real Sociedad’s ground while construction work is carried out on their new venue that is due to open next month, organised 328 buses to transport their fans to the Anoeta stadium. “It was great to win. Although it isn’t our stadium, with all the fans here it felt like it was,” goal-scorer Oscar De Marcos told Spanish broadcaster Cuatro.
Earlier, a twice-taken Diego Castro penalty in the 85th minute earned Getafe a 2-2 home draw against promoted Almeria. Almeria striker Rodri, on loan from Barcelona’s B team, opened the scoring with his third goal in two games.
Angel Lafita equalised for Getafe after 32 minutes before Fernando Soriano put the visitors 2-1 up five minutes later. In San Sebastian, an own goal from Osasuna defender Alejandro Arribas in the 31st minute and a breakaway goal from De Marcos in the 82nd made it two wins from two for new Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde this season.
Osasuna had the better of the opening stages, despite Aritz Aduriz hitting their post in the first minute, but failed to take their chances and Bilbao capitalised on the counter attack as Markel Susaeta’s low cross was turned into his own net by Arribas. Arribas almost made amends at the other end with a header that sailed wide and Bilbao keeper Iago Herrerin was quick off his line to smother the ball at the feet of Oriol Riera.
Ibai Gomez broke away on a counter-attack and rounded the advancing Osasuna keeper near the halfway line before missing out on an open goal after trying to cut back inside a defender. Substitute De Marcos did not make the same mistake minutes later when he was put through on goal on another counter and he slotted a low shot into the corner.