Premier Section Bowl Semi Final: Real Sociedad 3-0 Strikers
Sociedad breeze past Strikers and into the Bowl final
Real Sociedad eased their way into the Premier Bowl final after a comfortable 3-0 victory over American side, Strikers. The Spanish outfit were on top from the first whistle, with captain Jon Ander Olasagasti pulling the strings in midfield.
Nace Koprivink was keen to run in behind the Strikers’ defence, and couldn’t keep his composure when presented with an opportunity as he fired well over the bar.
This was a warning sign for Strikers, and they were soon behind when Dani Garrido’s low free kick took a slight deflection off the wall, which Heintz couldn’t keep out.
Olasagasti, along with Garrido, was at the heart of everything Sociedad produced, and he set free Recio, who could only fire wide of the target. Garrido was played through by Julen Lobete, however the playmaker could only fire straight at Heintz.
It was Koprivink’s turn to burst through, however Heintz met him well in the penalty area. Regil was first to the follow up, but the Sociedad play could only fire straight at the recovering keeper.
In the second period, Sociedad continued to pepper the Striker’s penalty area. Koprivink raced through after a perfectly weighted through ball from Olasagasti, however the substitute keeper, Tetsuya Kodak, was up to the challenge and produced a smart stop.
The move seemed to wake Strikers up, who nearly responded when Christian Perez fired towards the Sociedad goal. Gelbentzu produced a smart save, and was called into action moments later when Duarte nearly fired home from a short corner.
As Strikers pushed forward, they were always vulnerable on the counter attack, and Koprivink produced a great run behind the defence, before cutting inside and curling narrowly wide.
Sociedad doubled their advantage soon after, when Lobete picked up the ball on the edge of the box, turning and sending the Striker’s defenders the wrong way before firing low into the goal.
Despite having a quiet game, Gelbentzu was almost caught out by a long ball, with Perez heading the ball over the keeper but the ball agonisingly rolled past the post.
Sociedad sealed the victory at the end of the game, with some magic feet from Garrido setting Elizondo with free space in the box, and the substitute made no mistake as he slotted the ball past Kodak.
By Andy Gray (@AndyGrayNI)