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Real Sociedad 2 - 0 Aberdeen

HT Score: Real Sociedad 0 - 0 Aberdeen

Europa League Third Preliminary Round First Leg
Real Sociedad scorers: Zurutuza 53, Canales 68.

31/07/2014 | KO: 19:30

Spirited Dons Performance But La Liga Side in Driving Seat

Real Sociedad hold the advantage at the half way point in this Europa League tie, having defeated the Dons by two goals to nil. The La Lgia side dominated possession for large spells of the match and created numerous chances but some fine defending, along with some poor finishing, means the Dons European dream remains alive, for now.

The Dons started well in the opening exchanges, keeping possession and spreading the ball about on the large playing surface. It took Jonny Hayes just 6 minutes to test the Real Sociedad right back; with a burst off pace he managed to create space and send in a cross. Robson had done well in the middle of the park to win the ball back but unfortunately Hayes' cross sailed high over the cross bar and out for a goal kick.

Real Sociedad then began to insert their influence and began to dominate the game. Just after quarter an hour Ryan Jack gave the ball away deep inside the Aberdeen half but Russell Anderson was on hand to clear up. Ryan Jack atoned for his mistakes seconds later as he produced a great goal saving tackle, almost on the penalty spot, before Logan managed to complete the clearance but at the expense of a corner.

Sociedad wasted a great opportunity from the resulting corner when Zurutuza headed wide of Langfield's far post, the striker had time and acres of space in the box after the Dons had switched off.

The Dons were now struggling to get a foothold in the game and were surrendering possession too easily. The home side were playing a high pressing game and not allowing Aberdeen players any time on the ball. Prieto began to dictate proceedings in the middle of the park and Sociedad were beginning to look dangerous on the attack.

Ten minutes before half-time, the home sided created their best chance of the game, up to this point. After a great ball through the middle, De La Bella's clever knock down found Zurutuza but the big striker couldn't find the target and he hit his shot high over the bar.

Aberdeen almost carved out a chance moments later, but Anderson's superb through ball was just out of reach for Rooney and Inigo managed to get in front of the Dons striker and steer the danger away.

In the 38th minute Pardo spurned a great chance to give Sociedad the lead. After some nice work on the right hand side, the midfielder had time and space in the box, after the ball was cut back to him, but his effort was wild and well over Langfield's crossbar.

The Dons won a free kick on the stroke of half-time after Hayes was fouled on the left wing. Hayes took the free kick himself and managed to find Mark Reynolds with his cross, sadly for the Dons the big defender couldn't get decent contact and the ball sailed harmlessly over.


Neither side made any changes at half-time but the home side were on the attack almost immediately but the Dons defence stood firm and cleared the danger. Sociedad again pushed forward but this time superb defending from Russell Anderson prevented Sociedad taking advantage.

Finally though the Dons were undone in the 53rd minute as Zurutuza opened the scoring for Real Sociedad. Great play on the right wing by Zaldua, who nutmegged Jonny Hayes. He had space and the midfielder easily found Preito who fired a shot in on goal. Shay Logan managed to get in front of it but the ball fell off the defender into the path of Zurutuza in the Dons 6 yard box, and the striker made no mistake as he fired the ball into the roof of the net.

For the next 5 minutes the Dons managed to find their feet and keep possession but it wasn't long before Sociedad were on the attack again.

After a nice flick from Zurutuza, it needed a great tackle from Anderson to clear and moments later the Dons Captain was again snuffing out another Sociedad attack.

Just after the hour mark saw a superb run from McGinn almost open up a rare chance for the Dons. The Northern Ireland International cut inside and found Ryan Jack on the edge of the box, his flick found Rooney but the linesman's flag was up for offside as Zubikarai saved to his left.

Derek McInnes made his first change of the evening with Andrew Considine replacing Peter Pawlett. The change saw Hayes moving to right midfield and Robson coming into the centre.

Sociedad almost made it two after 64 minutes, Bergara dispossessed Robson, mid-way into the Dons half, and unleashed a thunderbolt of a strike which just clipped the top of the bar. Much to the relief of the traveling support.

It only took another 4 minutes before the home side did get their second. The substitute Canales, picked up a pass 25 yards from goal, with little or no backlift he rifled the ball into the bottom left hand corner with Langfield having no chance to keep it out.

The Dons responded with a double substitution; Goodwillie came on for Rooney and Low for Robson. Low took up position on the right, Hayes moved to left and McGinn took up a more central role.

The Dons pushed forward through McGinn, and the striker drove at the Sociedad defence before finding Considine on the left. The defender then fired in a great cross but neither Low nor Goodwillie could get on the end of it.

Granero was introduced for the last quarter of an hour for the home side, but it was McGinn who was in the thick of it again. Driving at the Sociedad defence he was fouled 30 yards from goal by Canales. Low stepped up, but could only find the wall with his effort at goal. The young midfielder managed to pick the ball up and sent a great cross into the back post, Considine took a superb touch and fired a voley at goal but Zubikarai tipped over. However the linesman flag was up for offside, despite Considine looking a yard onside.

Sociedad came close again in the 79th minute. Langfield produced a good save from close range to concede a corner. The resulting corner was swung in from right and Bergara got away from his marker to fire a header off the bar. The ball then crashed off the line and the Dons managed to clear, despite claims from the home side the referee said the ball had not crossed the line.

The Dons had a couple of bursts forward in the closing stages, with Low, Goodwillie and Hayes all doing well but neither could find the final ball or finish.

What could be the defining moment of the tie happened bang on the 90th minute, a through ball evaded Logan and Granero found himself through on goal at the edge of the box. Langfield dashed off his line, and produced a great save to keep the striker out, keeping the Dons in the tie in the process.

The fourth official indicated there would be three additional minutes but neither side could force another chance and the game ended two nil to the home side.

As the home support departed, the Red Army - who were magnificent throughout - were in full voice, belting out the Northern Lights of old Aberdeen. They know their team is down, but definitely not out.

Real Sociedad Teamsheet
Enaut Zubikarai, Joseba Zaldua, Gorka Elustondo, Inigo Martinez, Alberto De la Bella, Ruben Pardo (Esteban Granero 83), Bergara Markel, David Zurutuza, Alfred Finnbogason, Xabi Prieto (Imanol Agirretxe 74), Gonzalo Castro (Sergio Canales 64), Unused Subs: Martinez Mikel Gonzalez, Pablo Hervias, Jon Gazta, Ander Bardaji.

Bookings:  David Zurutuza (40),   Sergio Canales (75).
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Langfield, Logan, Anderson, Reynolds, Jack, Flood, Pawlett (Considine 62), Robson (Low 71), Hayes, McGinn, Rooney (Goodwillie 71).

Unused Subs: Smith, Taylor, Murray, Brown.

Bookings:  Rooney (19),  Logan (90).
Attendance: 15,000
Venue: Anoeta, San Sebastian
Referee: Bastian Dankert
Next Match
East Kilbride
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride