Athletic Bilbao score equalizer to deny Real Sociedad a much-needed win

BY foxsports • December 14, 2014

A second-half equalizer by Athletic Bilbao's Oscar de Marcos denied David Moyes' Real Sociedad a much-needed win in the Basque derby.

Carlos Vela's early headed goal got hosts Real Sociedad got off to a dream start and Moyes' side missed several chances to extend their lead before half-time.

They were made to rue those misses when De Marcos equalized in the 62nd minute, meaning the game ended 1-1.

Athletic had to play the final 10 minutes with 10 men when Aymeric Laporte was sent off, but Real Sociedad were unable to make the extra man count, and remain 14th in the table.

They are five points behind Athletic, who occupy 10th place.

Moyes' experimental approach to playing Vela up front on his own last weekend led to a humiliating 4-0 defeat to Villarreal, so the manager recalled Alfred Finnbogason and Chory Castro to the side, while Markel Bergara returned from injury.

Just as in the Scot's first home game against Elche, less than three minutes were on the clock when Vela put Sociedad in front.

Castro ventured into the box from the left and lifted the ball across goal, with the Mexican arriving at the edge of the six-yard box to head past Gorka Iraizoz.

Castro nearly got another assist to his name a few minutes later when his corner landed on the head of Inigo Martinez, but the defender glanced the ball wide from inside the six-yard box.

La Real were on top for most of the first half, and Vela could have added to his early goal when he took on three Athletic defenders to shoot on goal, but this time Iraizoz got in his way to push the shot away.

But the visitors also had chances before the break: Markel Susaeta drove just wide of a post, Mikel San Jose forced a save from Enaut Zubikarai and then Aritz Aduriz nearly scored inadvertently when the goalkeeper sent a loose ball cannoning off the striker and just wide.

Iker Muniain passed up a gilt-edged chance to level at the start of the second period, the forward bearing down on goal in the area but sending the ball wide of the far post.

However, the equalizer arrived just after the hour mark.

Standing on the left wing, far from the area, Susaeta delivered a right-footed ball across the face of goal and De Marcos got beyond his marker to send the ball crashing in off the bar and into the net.

Aduriz came close to grabbing a winner a few minutes after the equalizer but shot just wide of the post.

Athletic's hopes of winning the game were dealt a blow in the 80th minute when Laporte was shown a second yellow card for an elbow on Xabi Prieto, but Real Sociedad could not take advantage.

It was substitute Sergio Canales who came the closest to scoring - first hitting a free-kick off the top of the bar and then volleying into the arms of Iraizoz in stoppage time.

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