Gernika 0 (6)-(5) 0 Leganes
The locals protected a Leganés without a mordant and in the penalty shootout the local goalkeeper Altamira stopped the sixth shot
The Cup is a prize and as such Gernika took it, which is in the lower zone of the second group of the Second RFEF. Aitor Larrazabal’s men had nothing to lose and a lot to gain against the powerful Leganés and they made it clear from the opening whistle. For all, if any complex. They used the pepineros on a first-name basis who, except at specific moments, did not show the superiority that a higher category team is supposed to have. His coach Imanol Idiakez, quite angry at the game displayed by his men, certified it at the end of the match. “If we don’t go 100% we can’t beat anyone,” he stressed and that’s how it was.
In intensity and dedication, Gernika gave him a real lesson, even though the best chances –few because the match was very difficult– were for the visiting team. The pepineros came out with a clear three, four, two one trying to have superiority in the wide area and looking to expand the field as large as possible. However, he found a host squad very well planted on the pitch. The former Athletic goalkeeper, Gorka Iraizoz, Larrazabal’s second on the Urbieta bench, did a good job of analyzing the rival and the black and whites were clear on how to stop the opponent
Larrazabal’s slogan to his men was clear: Close the spaces, be generous in the effort and go out like knives against them. And the Gernikarra squad carried out the orders perfectly. In fact, the foreign eleven, which presented some novelties compared to the one that usually starts in the SmartBank League, did not feel comfortable at any time during the first half. Only a few flashes from the right by Javi Avilés broke his slow and tedious game that almost always ended with a ball hanging into the area, easy for the host defense to clear.
Larrazabal’s men soon warned of their intentions through an incisive Gallastegi and a shot by Miguel Carvajal from the edge of the pepine area that went high. The visitors’ only chance came on a set piece shortly after half an hour. A free-kick thrown by Fede Vico hit the barrier and the rebound was picked up by Vico himself, who was about to surprise the hero of the afternoon, goalkeeper Jon Altamira.
The goalkeeper from Gernikarra, in doubt until the last minute due to sciatica, was decisive with his interventions in the second half and later in the penalty shootout. And it is that, after passing through changing rooms, Leganés was somewhat more incisive and direct. The changes introduced by Idiakez gave the team more fluidity. To this was added the fact that Gernika began to pay for the physical effort. Yacine Quasm, Piotr Pazyszek a few minutes after the restart and the recently started Daniel Raba in the final stretch put an inspired Altamira to the test, without luck.
And David, who hadn’t quite believed it until then, really began to see that he could beat Goliath to be in the draw for the next round of the Cup on Wednesday. He had to endure another half hour of extra time – easy to say and difficult to do after ninety minutes of maximum delivery – to dream that luck could be on the Gernikarra side. Believing is power. The scoreboard remained immovable also in extra time, despite the territorial dominance of Leganés and on penalties the coin fell heads for the Biscayan team and tails for the pepineros.
After five shots by team without any failure, the local goalkeeper Jon Altamira stopped the ball from Naim García becoming the hero of the local parish. Dozens of children jumped onto the field to hug the black and white goalkeeper while chanting his name. Set to dream, Gernika awaits the other jackpot in Wednesday’s pot.