Real Sociedad vs Aberdeen match report: Aberdeen see Europa League hopes fade as Dons have it all to do

Aberdeen must overturn a 2-0 deficit in the second leg against the La Liga club

Aberdeen have it all to do to keep their Europa League hopes alive after a 2-0 defeat by Real Sociedad in the first leg of their Europa League third qualifying round tie in San Sebastian.

Derek McInnes's men defended stubbornly in a goalless first half which was characterised by some wayward shooting by the home side.

Midfielder David Zurutuza, however, broke through the red resistance in the 53rd minute before substitute Sergio Canales doubled that lead with a drive in the 68th minute and it might have been worse had keeper Jamie Langfield not made a save from substitute Imanol Agirretxe, who then missed another chance right at the end, with the woodwork also coming to the Dons' rescue.

Although a two-goal deficit is not, on the face of it, insurmountable, Aberdeen will have to come up with something special if they are to rescue the tie in the return game at Pittodrie next week.

The Dons went into the tie on a high following their 2-1 aggregate win over Dutch side Groningen in the last round.

However, as the first half unfolded the Spanish side, a step up in class again, began to find their rhythm and pushed and prodded, looking to find the gap in the Aberdeen defence.

Langfield was hardly under siege as his defence restricted opposition chances and efforts from home skipper Xabi Prieto and Markel Bergara were off target.

But the home side should have gone ahead in the 34th minute when former Celtic target Alfred Finnbogason latched on to a header from Chory Castro but he knocked the ball over the bar from close range.

Another let-off came moments later when midfielder Ruben Pardo slashed at the ball from 12 yards and cleared the bar by some distance, leaving the Scottish Premiership side happy to go into the break level.

However, when Zurutuza scored eight minutes after the interval, prodding the ball past Langfield after the Dons defence could not clear, the complexion of the tie changed.

Aberdeen brought on Andrew Considine for Peter Pawlett in the 61st minute in a bid to repel the attacks but they soon nearly fell further behind when Bergara struck the top of the bar from 25 yards after robbing Barry Robson in midfield.

Considine then gifted Sociedad the ball midway inside his half but Langfield got down to hold the shot from Canales.

But Canales found his range moments later as he unleashed a rocket past Langfield from 25 yards.

There did not seem to be much danger when the substitute, on minutes earlier for Castro, collected a pass in between the Dons midfield and defence but he fired a powerful left-footed drive just inside the post.

David Goodwillie soon replaced Adam Rooney up front while Nicky Low came on for Robson.

The Dons had a half-chance for a crucial away goal when they got a free-kick 28 yards out but Low struck the wall with his effort and the hosts were soon back on the attack. Finnbogason had time to bring down a cross inside the box but Langfield reacted quickly to narrow the angle and block the shot.

The Dons then had a huge let-off when Inigo Martinez was allowed a free header from a Canales corner. The bullet header hit the underside of the bar and bounced on the right side of the line for the visitors, but only just.

Langfield then saved the Dons when a defensive blunder from Shay Logan allowed Agirretxe to latch on to a long ball over the top. The striker never really got the ball down properly though and Langfield was quickly out to block.

And Agirretxe then had a great chance in injury-time when he beat Considine to a cross, but the forward sliced high and wide.

PA

News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Bruce, left, with Cream bandmates Ginger Rogers, centre, and Eric Clapton in 1967
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
News
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker