Bilbao blows three points at San Mames
Alvaro’s last-minute header salvaged a crucial point for Racing Santander against Athletic Bilbao in their Primera Division clash at San Mames.
The hosts looked to be on course for their fifth league win of the season after Jon Aurtenetxe headed them in front with 10 minutes left on the clock before Racing defender Alvaro snatched a point for La Liga’s second-bottom team.
Athletic have been inconsistent at home in recent weeks, beating Atletico Madrid 3-0 and earning an impressive 2-2 draw against Barcelona only to suffer a 1-0 defeat to Granada.
And the Basque side will be disappointed not to have claimed all three points after they dominated the game and enjoyed the vast majority of chances.
Midfielder Markel Susaeta fired in two testing corners in the opening quarter which were both saved by Racing goalkeeper Antonio Tono.
Tono then punched another corner by the midfielder clear before Papakouli Diop had Racing’s first chance at the other end when his shot was blocked by Fernando Amorebieta.
Bilbao midfielder Oscar De Marcos then hit the post with his strike from the centre of the area with 10 minutes left in the first half as both sides failed to find the breakthrough.
After the break, Susaeta blasted a long-range effort over the bar before he almost set up defender Fernando Amorebieta for the opener.
Susaeta delivered an outswinging corner to the middle of the area where Amorebieta headed the ball over the bar, much to Tono’s relief.
Midfielder Susaeta then had another chance go begging in the 52nd minute when he blasted a shot over the bar from close range before striker Gaizka Toquero repeated the feat from slightly further out nine minutes later.
Athletic kept up the pressure and continued to pepper Tono’s goal, with substitute David Lopez going close through a corner which the Racing goalkeeper punched to safety.
And the hosts eventually went in front in the 80th minute thanks to Aurtenetxe’s headed goal when the defender connected with Toquero’s cross to nod the ball home from close range.
Bernardo Espinosa almost equalised for Racing five minutes from time but his header flew over the bar before Julian Luque’s last-minute strike was caught by Bilbao goalkeeper Gorka TIraizoz.
However, Alvaro had the final word when he headed Diop’s cross past TIraizoz from close range in stoppage time to earn his side a draw.