The return of Argentine Luis Ezequiel “Chimy” Ávila, 211 days later, was the highlight of the friendly between Eibar and Osasuna in the training ground of the gunsmith team, in Atxabalpe.
The Argentine player from Osasuna had not played since August 26, 2020. On that occasion, the player from Rosario wore the red shirt against Mirandés, in a friendly in Anduva. A few days later, the forward was seriously injured in training shortly after starting the league. Last week he returned to an official call after 421 days of recovery.
This Thursday, coach Jagoba Arrasate placed him in the rojillo attack with Enric Gallego, in a white glove match in which Eibar exercised territorial dominance and Osasuna only carried some danger through counterattacks, especially in the first half .
Mendilibar faced this friendly match with eight casualties from his first team, with the absences of those selected by Spain, Bryan Gil with the absolute and Pozo with the U21 and Marko Dmitrovic with Serbia, in addition to the injured Correa, Bigas, Exposito , “Cote” Valdés and Muto.
To make up for the absences, he summoned players from the subsidiary, defender Dufur, who played at the beginning, and Unai Arieta, Atienza and goalkeeper Jon Mikel, who had already entered a list in official competitions both in the League and in the Cup.
For Osasuna, the most remarkable thing, in addition to the presence of Argentine striker Chimy Ávila, whom Jagoba Arrasate wanted to give minutes of play in order to have him in the last stretch of this season, and it was the presence of Ramalho, who arrived at the Navarrese club last month and was finally released on the field of play.
The game started with intensity as just after the first minute the Valladolid forward Quique González launched a good center shot into the Navarre area that was narrowly missed by Sergio Enrich.
Osasuna gradually stretched out and Enric Gallego and Chimy Avila with long shots led the first warnings by the Pamplona team, which had its reply shortly after on a good occasion for Pedro León with a cross shot that narrowly missed. Inui also tempted luck a few minutes later by returning intense territorial dominance to the gunsmith ensemble.
In the second half, Mendilibar brought Rodrigues and Oliveira onto the field for Soares and Arbilla respectively, and Jagoba Arasate replaced goalkeeper Juan Pérez and brought Sergio Herrera into goal.
In the 60th minute the clearest opportunity came for Eibar after a free-kick by Pedro León, the protagonist again and that Herrera deflected with a great save to a corner, thus saving the first goal for the locals
In the 63rd minute, Arrasate opted to make four changes at a stretch, bringing Moreno, who made his debut with the first team, Aimar, Darko and Córdoba, instead of Chimy Ávila, Oier, Javi Martínez and Unai García. Mendilibar replicated these changes with the entry of two homegrown players, Atienza for Alvarez and Unai Arieta for Inui in the 71st minute.