San Sebastian, Spain, Sep 26 (EFE).- Real Sociedad once again kept its opponents from finding its goal on home turf but waited until just 10 minutes before the end of regulation time for Mikel Oyarzabal to finally get the team on the board for its 1-0 win Sunday over Elche, a hard-fought match that easily could have gone the visitors’ way if they had had a bit more luck on two shots-on-goal, both of which hit the post.
Real Sociedad, currently in fourth place in La Liga action but plagued by injuries, went up against an Elche squad who wanted to move up from 14th in the table, thus ensuring a relatively equal engagement.
The home squad played well against their guests in the first half, keeping them down in their own area, but their own attacks died without posing any danger.
The first gut-clenching moment for Real came when Elche’s Mojica sought Benedetto and the subsequent shot hit the post of the home team’s goal, a lucky break since Remiro could never have stopped it.
The second heart-stopping moment for Real started at midfield when Lucas Perez drove in toward Remiro’s goal without opposition but put too much power into the shot, which brushed the post but didn’t sink.
In the second half, Mikel Merino came alive and midway through the period sent a superb pass to Oyarzabal, but he wasn’t able to find the twine and squandered an excellent opportunity to get the team on the board.
In the final stretch, team captain Oyarzabal was finally able to make something click when he took advantage of an egregious error by Elche’s center defensemen and drove one home against Casilla for the 1-0, and the match.
The match was played before 24,000 fans – the maximum capacity allowed due to continuing, albeit relaxed, health restrictions – at the Reale Arena.
Real Sociedad: Remiro; Gorosabel, Le Normand, Zubeldia, Muñoz (Romero, min. 73); Zubimendi, Merino (Aritz, min. 90), Turrientes (Guevara, min. 82), Oyarzabal (Valera, min. 82); Januzaj (Portu, min. 73) and Lobete.
Elche: Casilla; Palacios, Roco, Diego Gonzalez, Mojica; Piatti (Morente, min. 76), Mascarell, Raul Guti (Gumbau, min. 66), Fidel (Pastore, min. 86); Lucas Perez (Carrillo, min. 66) and Benedetto (Pere Milla, min. 76).