Honours even between Torino and Athletic
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Torino FC 2-2 Athletic Club
Though Iñaki Williams gave the visitors an early lead, two Maxi López goals edged Torino in front until substitute Carlos Gurpegi's strike.
Article top media content
• Iñaki Williams, 20, puts Athletic Club ahead on European debut
• Opener was first goal conceded by Torino at home in Europe since 1994
• Maxi López turns tables with two goals to edge hosts in front
• Substitute Carlos Gurpegi equalises with a header 17 minutes from time
• The second leg is next Thursday in Spain, with the last 16 draw the following day
Carlos Gurpegi's header gave Athletic Club an important 2-2 draw at Torino FC after Maxi López's first-half double had overshadowed Iñaki Williams' early opener.
The hosts applied a positive approach to the game, but the visitors took the lead with a fine counterattack after nine minutes. Borja Viguera found space on the left with an excellent solo run and sent in a precise low cross which was easily met by Williams at the far post.
The Granata, however, did not lose their nerve and responded in similar fashion nine minutes later. Cristian Molinaro combined perfectly on the left with Omar El Kaddouri, and the full-back crossed for Maxi López, who smartly anticipated his marker to beat Iago Herrerín from close range.
Torino went close to taking the lead through Josef Martínez before doing so three minutes ahead of the interval. Maxi López was again the hero for the home side as the Argentinian-born striker headed in perfectly from Matteo Darmian's pinpoint cross from the right.
Molinaro tested Herrerín with a powerful shot soon after the restart, but Athletic started to keep possession better and were rewarded 17 minutes from time when substitute Gurpegi met a Beñat free-kick and gave Torino goalkeeper Daniele Padelli no chance with his looping header. Soon after, Gurpegi went close to scoring again from another header that struck the bar with Padelli beaten. It would have been a punishment too severe for Torino.