Jonathan Gomez took his first step onto the field in Europe for Real Sociedad B in a heartbreaking loss to Ponferradina, while Matthew Hoppe was not called into action in Mallorca’s late victory.
SD Ponferradina – Real Sociedad B
Not even two months after his first USMNT cap, Jonathan Gomez took another major step in his career, making his European debut for Real Sociedad B in their loss to SD Ponferradina in La Liga 2 action on Monday night.
Gomez was deployed on the left side of the defense by head coach Xabi Alonso, playing the full 90 minutes. He did well on his debut, completing 87% of his 31 passes while winning most of his duels with attacking players, and most importantly drawing the penalty that led to his team’s opening goal.
Gómez was already an active presence from the beginning, attempting a tight-angled shot in the 22nd minute from the left side that was menacingly close to the target, but flew a bit over the crossbar.
Ponferradina were first on the board after 30 minutes, in what would be the only score of first half. Erik Morán had space to cue up his shot from just outside the penalty area, which beat keeper Andoni Zubiaurre at the lower right corner.
The hosts thought they made it 2-0 later in the half, only to see the linesman’s flag go up to negate Yuri’s seeming goal.
The American made his presence known at the hour mark, drawing a penalty when Ponferradina keeper Amir Abedzadeh knocked him over in an attempt to stop his progression inside the area. Jon Karrikaburu took the resulting spot kick, putting the game back on even terms at one goal apiece.
The hosts then took the lead roughly ten minutes later after a penalty call when in their favor, with Yuri doing the honors to beat Zubiaurre at his lower left corner.
The hosts did managed to pull equal ten minutes before the end of regulation thanks to a Julen Lobete strike to beat Abedzadeh. However, Ponferradina won it at the death, after Edu Espiau controlled a cross from Paris Adot in the third minute of injury time and struck his shot from short-range for the final 3-2 victory.
The result leaves the team next to last place in the division, a daunting ten points from safety with only 15 games left to play. They will be back on the field on Sunday when they host 16th-place Malaga.
Matthew Hoppe was an unused substitute for Mallorca on Monday night in the team’s miraculous 3-2 home victory over Athletic Bilbao. The victory, their second straight, brings Mallorca six points above the relegation places. Hoppe and his teammates have a tough visit to Real Betis awaiting on Sunday.