MADRID – Atletico Madrid had on Saturday to wait until second-half stoppage time to pull off a 1-1 draw against Eibar, after conceding a late goal in La Liga action.
Borja Garces, 19, had an unforgettable debut with Atleti as he scored their lone goal to save a team that has managed to win only one Spanish league game out of four matches so far this season.
Atletico Madrid put on a good performance during most of the game, but was unable to get past Serbia goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic.
During the first half, Atletico had only three scoring opportunities: France forward Antoine Griezmann first missed on a bicycle kick, then had a shot blocked by Dmitrovic, who also stopped a header from Spain midfielder Saul Ńiguez.
The match dynamics seemed to be different after the intermission, as Atletico managed to threaten Eibar’s goal on four occasions just three minutes into the game, but nothing changed on the scoreboard.
Dmitrovic blocked a nice header by Uruguay defender Diego Godin and then a powerful shot by Diego Costa, while Atletico players missed on the other two chances.
Seeking a way to break the scoreless deadlock, coach Diego Simeone decided to replace midfielder Rodrigo “Rodi “ Hernandez Cascante in the 73rd minute to give Garces the opportunity to make his debut, a decision that drew boos from the stands.
It was Eibar who got into the scoreboard first, thanks to Spanish forward Sergi Enrich on a close range right-footed touch, punishing the defenders for their failure to clear the area in the 87th minute.
Three minutes into the second-half stoppage time, Garces proved worthy Simeone’s trust as he drew his team level on a close range shot.