Eibar, April 25: Eibar conceded a goal in the 94th minute to lose 0-1 to Athletic Club Bilbao in a duel of regiol rivals who are also vying to finish in the top six of La Liga football championship here. Neither team lacked for intensity in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Eibar’s Ipurua stadium here on Monday, reports Efe.
The home fans cheered every time their side won a corner, buoyed by the club’s surprising success this season, when instead of fighting to avoid relegation, Eibar have been contending for a spot in next season’s Europa League.
The hosts got off to fast start, but the effort took a toll as the minutes passed, and Athletic started to threaten on the counter-attack.
Eibar came back from the half-time break refreshed and Athletic goalkeeper Kepa had to be sharp to stop Sergi Enrich from close range.
Just 10 minutes after the re-start, Eibar found themselves down to 10 men after Gonzalo Escalante was ejected on a straight red card after a dangerous hit on Iker Muniain.
With the home side shorthanded, Athletic decided to go for the win.
Raul Garcia hit the post with a shot, minutes before Eibar keeper Yoel Rodriguez stymied Muniain from point-blank range.
In stoppage time, Athletic won a pelty and while Yoel turned aside Beñat’s strike from the spot, Garcia hammered in the rebound to give his side the 1-0 triumph.
Athletic, with 56 points from 33 matches, climbed into sixth place. With 50 points, Eibar remain stuck in eighth. IANS