Copa del Rey: The Mirands is still very much alive | Copa del Rey 2019




Iraola's team faces a Real that won with goals from Oyarzabal and Odegaard, but they go to Anduva with minimal advantage.

Oyarzabal places the penalty ball that was worth 1-0.

The two basic premises with which the Mirands went to the Reale Arena were fulfilled: they left San Sebastin alive and did so scoring a goal. They lost, yes, and therefore the Real Sociedad is the team that is closest to the final of the Copa del Rey right now, but Andoni Iraola's team won, with total merit, the right to prolong their dream. And that everything is resolved in Anduva, where Celta, Sevilla and Villarreal have already succumbed this year.

The best that can be said about the Mirands is that the difference in category was not noticed at all before an opponent who seven days before had shaken Real Madrid at the Bernabu. Only the highest quality of the San Sebastian attackers – from Odegaard, more specifically – decanted the balance in favor of a Real who never found comfort to develop his football. And that, more than demure of those of Sheriff, was the result of the enormous work done by his rival.

Because the Mirands doesn't cheat. He compared in the Reale Arena with the valiant announced, pressing his opponent very high to prevent him from taking out the ball with comfort. He even scored the first occasion of the night, a good shot of Merquelanz repelled by Remiro, but the slope was going to steep immediately. At eight minutes, Odei committed an unnecessary penalty on Portu that the referee signaled at first and Oyarzabal transformed with the usual serenity and precision.

Omnipresent Malsa

The serious risk of Iraola's team is to fall apart after such an early blow, but he did not at all. Tactically very disciplined, the Mirands maintained order, avoided Odegaard's participation thanks to Malsa's sticky marking and forced Isak to move away from the area, where it is much less harmful. Intense and concentrated, the Burgals team only lacked a bit more precision with the ball to take advantage of the imbalance generated by Merquelanz on the left wing and, to a lesser extent, Alvaro Rey on the right.

In short, the Mirands scored a goal in the first half and achieved six minutes from the break. A recovery of the ubiquitous Malsa ended up in the feet of Matheus, who took a shot that ended in the goalkeeper after hitting Monreal on the road. The happy look, however, was going to be ephemeral.

Odegaard finally managed, in an isolated play, to find space to develop his football and from a drive to the area he finished marking the second of the Real after two consecutive stops of Lemons. Two defensive failures committed the Mirands in the first half and two goals conceded.

Gasoline for the end

Portu and Antonio Snchez encouraged the return of costumes with two good occasions each. The Real began to look for simpler and safer passes, while the Mirands increasingly selected their efforts, aware that their luck depends on the gasoline they will reserve for the final leg of the duel.

Little by little, Iraola's team began to think more about what they already had and less about what they could win. It was logical that he minimized risks, while Real tried unsuccessfully to achieve a higher income for the return encounter in Anduva. He did it until the last play, in which Limones shone again to remind Real that if he wants to play the final, he will have to win.

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