Real Sociedad defender halfway to paradise, again

27 November 2011 06:46

At the beginning of last month, young Real Sociedad defender Inigo Martinez scored a stunning goal from inside his own half in the Basque derby against Athletic Bilbao.

As brilliant as it was, that effort proved to be a mere consolation for his side.

On Sunday, however, Martinez did it again, and this time the goal could prove to be one of his team's most important this season.

In the last minute of Real Sociedad's game away to Betis, the 20-year-old stepped out from his position in central defence to rob possession, before striding forward to the halfway line, from where he sent in a left-footed strike that flew over goalkeeper Casto and into the net.

Betis had recovered from two goals down, but Martinez's goal sealed a vital 3-2 win for the San Sebastian side.

A first win in nine matches in La Liga lifted them to 12 points, just one behind Betis, and helped ease the pressure on French coach Philippe Montanier, who has yet to win over the club's fans since moving to Anoeta in the summer.

Martinez's goal against Athletic was described by Xabi Alonso -- a former Real midfielder and himself a scorer of spectacular goals from the halfway line in the past -- as the "the best ever scored at (their home stadium) Anoeta."

Nevertheless, most observers would have considered it a one-off, until now.

A Spanish under-21 international, Martinez only made his La Liga debut at the start of this season, but also made headlines in September after scoring an equally spectacular own-goal playing for his country against Georgia.

Source: AFP

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