Chimy Avila snatches home stretch tie for Osasuna vs. Barcelona

Pamplona, Spain, Dec 12 (EFE).- Osasuna battled its way to 2-2 tie against Barcelona on Sunday, the draw coming thanks to a goal in the 87th minute by Chimy Avila, in a very entertaining, action-packed and emotional match at El Sadar stadium before 21,427 fans.

Hit hard by injuries, but still idolized in Pamplona, substitute Chimy’s late strike was the decisive play, firing from outside the area just when it seemed that Barcelona was on the way to a much-needed road win.

It was Osasuna’s own thirst for a victory that motivated the team to go all out right from the start of the match, knowing as they did that Barcelona’s recent troubles left it no margin for error after being hammered in Europa League competition and given its dicey situation – and rapidly receding title hopes – within La Liga.

Nico scored for the visitors 12 minutes into play after the multitasking Gavi sent him a good pass, but the shivers Osasuna may have felt lasted only a couple of minutes with team captain David Garcia capitalizing on a shot by Moncayola from the right and heading the ball out of reach of Barca goaltender Ter Stegen for the 1-1.

Electricity was a constant feature of the match on the part of both teams after that in a vibrant contest where both had good plays and chances all the way through the first half.

As soon as play resumed after the break, it was Abde who scored the second Barcelona goal after a counterattack that he brought to a conclusion with a powerful shot in the 49th minute.

Osasuna toned down the rhythm for long stretches during the second period, keeping control of the ball for minutes on end without really accomplishing much while waiting for some kind of foul-up by the visitors.

The home squad maintained their composure as the minutes ticked down until just three minutes before the end of regulation time Avila recovered the ball in front of the area and fired it home for the tying tally, whereupon the stadium erupted in spectacular cheering and celebration.

It was a bitter result for Barca, having lost to Real Betis last weekend and to Bayern Munich in Europa League action at mid-week. Meanwhile, Osasuna has struggled and is without a win in its past 10 La Liga encounters, and yet the draw on Sunday was a sweet result.

After the match, Barca manager Xavi Hernandez, with just two victories in his first six matches at the helm, said “We need a win, urgently.”

With the draw, Barca is now in the eighth spot on the La Liga table, five points in back of No. 4 Atletico Madrid and 15 behind league leader Real Madrid, although the two capital squads will face off at Santiago Bernabeu stadium later on Sunday.


Osasuna: Sergio Herrera; Nacho Vidal (Torres, m. 73), Unai Garcia, David Garcia, Juan Cruz, Manu Sanchez (Cote, m. 73); Kike Barja (Chimy Avila, m.69), Moncayola, Lucas Torro; Ruben Garcia (Darko, m. 69); Kike Garcia (Budimir, m. 69).

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Araujo, Pique, Umtiti, Gavi; De Jong, Busquets, Nico (Mingueza, m. 73); Abde (Ferran, m. 90), De Jong, Dembele (Coutinho, m. 81).

EFE le/mg/og/bp

Related Articles

Back to top button