Real made their European debut in style after beating HNK Rijeka 0-1 in the first group game of the UEFA Europa League. The side from Gipuzkoa dominated the game and put the icing on the cake in injury time. Bautista found the net and secured all three points for Real in Rijeka. Our first European match has not been easy. Imanol’s side got off to a good start and frequently attacked the visitors’ area whereas the hosts looked to pounce on the counterattack. HNK Rijeka could have scored the opening goal but Álex Remiro made two fine saves to keep the score 0-0. Real Sociedad dominated the first half, enjoying greater possession of the ball and more chances. Clear chances too. The first chance came from Le Normand but the woodwork denied him from opening the scoring. Just before the break, a great pass from Portu to Oyarzabal was close to being a goal. The txuri urdin could not relax as the Croatians were giving their all.
In the second half, the txuri urdin dominance became even greater. Portu could have added a second but his shot hit the post. The realistas were not able to capitalise on their chances. Ten minutes before the final whistle, Oyarzabal tried his luck in front of Nevistic but to no avail. Real kept pushing and Bautista scored with a powerful left-footed strike to give Real the victory. This is a deserved victory. Three points in our first performance. This is just the beginning but we love this start! Aupa Real!
HNK Rijeka: Nevistic, Tomecak, Escoval, Velkoski, Smolcic, Stefulj, Cerin, Andrijasevic (cap)(Sterling, min.63), Loncar (Capan, min.86), Pavicic and Kulenovic (Lepinijka, min.77).
Real Sociedad: Remiro, Gorosabel, Aritz, Le Normand, Monreal, Zubimendi, Merino, Silva, Oyarzabal (cap)(Bautista, min.85), Portu and Isak (Willian José, min.72).
Goal: 0-1: Bautista, min.93
Referee: Frankowski (Poland). Booked Andrijasevic, Pavicic, Capan and Lepinjika for HNK Rijeka and Merino for Real Sociedad.