Points shared after evenly-balanced encounter

Torres’ 94th minute goal denies Numancia win over Osasuna

A goal by Torres in the 94th minute denied Numancia a win over Osasuna at Los Pajaritos. It had been one of the best afternoons of the season, not just because of the intensity of and the quality of the football that the two sides had served up on the playing field, but also for the atmosphere that the more than 6,000 fans created in the stands, with both sets getting vociferously behind their teams. López Garai and Arrasate’s sides played what turned out to be a great game, each in their own style, fighting fiercely for the ball on every inch of the pitch.

Osasuna came out with all guns blazing and in the first quarter of an hour the best chances were theirs. Juan Carlos punched away a fizzing shot from Brandon, and Torres had a dig from the edge of the box that the ‘keeper and the post somehow kept out, with the ball going out for a corner. Numancia needed to calm the game down and get control of the ball to put a brake on the visitors’ initial bursting energy, and they were able to do just that from the 20th minute onwards. Escassi, Diamanka, Fran Villalba and Gus Ledes managed to get and keep possession and Numancia strung together some promising moves. As well as that, Yeboah was keeping Clerc busy on the left side and the Osasuna full-back was barely able to come forward and attack.

In a good Numancia move down the right wing, Clerc clattered Yeboah and the referee blew the foul. Gus Ledes took the free-kick and the ball ended up in the back of the net defended by Rubén. Diamanka has become synonymous with goals this season for Numancia, and this game was no exception. The Senegalese forward first got his head to the free-kick that Ledes floated in, the ‘keeper parried it, but the ball went straight back to Diamanka who struck immediately with his right foot to open the scoring for the Numantinos. It had been Osasuna who had created most danger up to that point, but Juan Carlos’ interventions had proved providential. Now it was the turn of Diamanka to show his striking ability, and he did just that.

While Numancia seemed to like threading moves through the middle, the game was really played out on the wings, and Nacho and Ganea had trouble containing their opposite numbers in the visiting side, while Clerc and Lillo struggled in much the same way to keep Yeboah and Fran Villalba in check.

Half time came and went, and the restart brought a different-looking game entirely. Both teams applied intensity, but in the second half the Sorianos played a controlling game and Osasuna were barely able to mount any attacks from the back. When Numancia played the ball around in the middle, Osasuna had difficulties to regain possession and their lines became separated. As well as this, Yeboah made several appearances down the right flank that threatened, but eventually came to nothing. He set up a few one-on-one situations, but the second goal was not to come for Numancia.

In the dying seconds of the game, the faith that Osasuna had never lost brought its rewards. A free-kick taken from far out by the goalkeeper was headed on by Xisco, the loose ball went across the edge of the area to the far side where Roberto Torres was waiting and, from a difficult angle, struck a shot past Juan Carlos to level what had been a frenetic encounter. It was minute 90+4, and there was not even time to kick off again.  

C.D. Numancia: Juan Carlos, Escassi, Ganea, Nacho, Yeboah, Derik (Carlos Gutiérrez, m. 55), Atienza, Guillermo, Gus Ledes, Fran Villalba, Diamanka.

C.A. Osasuna: Rubén, Nacho Vidal, David García, Oier, Fran Mérida, R. Torres, C. Clerc, Unai García, Brandon, Juan Villar, Rober Ibáñez.

Referee: Figueroa Vázquez (Andalusian Committee). Assisted by Calero Cano and Ríos Vargas. Yellow cards for Diamanka, Numancia and Clerc and Rober Ibáñez, Osasuna. Red card for Pichu Atienza, m. 94.

Goals: 1-0. M. 21. Diamanka. 1-1. M. 94. Torres.

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