Elche and Osasuna trade blows in tight draw

Elche 1-1 Osasuna

These two teams sat 14th and 9th before the start of today’s match. In the case of the home side, probably just far enough from the relegation zone to set their budgets for next season and in the case of Osasuna, probably just too far from Europe to do the same.

That didn’t show on the pitch initially however. In the opening half Elche lost two starters to injury, Raul Guti and Pedro Bigas both coming off injured in what was a physical encounter. Elche, powered by their many gritty Argentines, and Osasuna, channeling their natural Basque power.

It was the hosts who started better, forcing a point blank save from Sergio Herrera early on and generally arriving at the Osasuna box more often. As that early momentum subsided however, Osasuna played themselves back into it and all were glad to get into the break without having to chase the game on a warm afternoon.

It would be the visitors who got the upper hand in the initial stages of the second half though, going ahead through an Ante Budimir penalty. The Croatian got round his man in the box and was felled from behind, before coolly rolling the ball into the corner. That made it six consecutive matches scoring for Budimir, a new Osasuna record.

As the sun beat down on the players, Elche struggled their way back into goalscoring positions and eventually got a reward for their efforts. A corner from the right side found the top of Pere Milla’s head at the near post. His glance took it over Sergio Herrera and across the line before the clearance could be made.

Osasuna had a late chance as more Elche players continued to break down, but that grit saw them get a block in against Budimir. Honours finished even in an even match between two similar teams.

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