Eibar faced Girona for a place in the final of the La Liga play-offs, the winner of which will earn promotion to the top division of Spanish football.
The first leg between La Liga 2’s third and sixth-placed sides wasn’t exactly a feast for the eyes overall, with the sides sharing six shots on target. But the match did spice up late on, with Eibar receiving an incredible seven yellow cards as they looked to preserve their 1-0 advantage.
The goal that gave them that advantage was nothing short of spectacular.
Eibar midfielder scores crazy 35-yard stunner
After the opening stages were relatively cagey, Eibar got a free-kick not far from the halfway line.
The Spanish side, however, sprung a surprise. With players waiting in the box, they instead decided to take it short. Aketxe exchanged passes with his team-mate, before taking the ball forward.
He then unleashed an unstoppable piledriver, which swerved in mid-air and nestled in the top corner.
The midfielder looked just as surprised as the supporters as he wheeled away in celebration.
On the stroke of half-time, Eibar were reduced to 10 men, when the referee dismissed Alvaro Tejero after a hard challenge on Alex Baena.
Chaotic closing stages
As Girona pushed for an equaliser in the final stages, Eibar received a flurry of yellow cards. Desperately trying to hold on to their lead, the visitors appeared to be fouling at will.
By the end of the match, the referee had dished out seven yellow cards and one red. Amazingly, only one of these yellows was for a Girona player.
The hosts dominated Eibar, but couldn’t find a leveller. The Girona finished the match having had 66 per cent possession and 12 shots in total. However, only one of these was on target.
On the other hand, Eibar still managed 10 shots (five on target) with only 34 per cent possession.
As we look towards the second leg, Girona have a one-goal deficit to overturn. Eibar host their opponents knowing that they need only a draw to guarantee a spot in the final.
One thing is for sure: they will be hoping that Aketxe can reproduce the same long-range brilliance in the return leg.
Featured Image Credit: Getty