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

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
Voices
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
music
Sport
Husain Abdullah returns an interception off Tom Brady for a touchdown
nflLeague has rules against 'sliding to ground on knees'
Life and Style
tech
Extras
indybest
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.

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style