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BW Video of Basque Soccer Friendly: Athletic Bilbao Defeats Club Tijuana 2-0

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Nearly 22,000 fans, witnesses to the largest soccer match in Idaho history, cheered through the early evening July 18 at Boise's Albertsons Stadium as the first-ever Basque Soccer Friendly saw Athletic Bilbao defeat Club Tijuana 2-0.

The crowd ultimately sparked to life in the third minute of play as Atlhletic Bilbao striker Artiz Aduriz took a perfect pass and headed in a goal, his 86th career-goal.. Athletic Bilbao, which traveled more than 5,000 miles to Idaho, scored again in the 22nd minute of play, but suffered a serious injury: losing starting striker Inaki Williams in the second half. Athletic Bilbao officials later said that Williams might be out of their team's first few games of the upcoming UEFA Europa League tournament, starting in twelve days. The Europa League tournament is considered one of the most elite competitions in international soccer. Because Athletic Bilbao qualified for the prestigious tournament, the Basque Soccer Friendly had to be moved up a week-and-a-half to accommodate the team's playoff schedule.

Meanwhile, Club Tijuana, which traveled more than 1,000 miles to participate in the Boise match, is about to begin its Liga MX season later this month.

Facing Athletic Bilbao's unanswered two goals, Club Tijuana became a bit more frustrated in the second half of the "friendly;" and the Boise match became a bit chippy when a Tijuana player tackled an Athletic player from behind, sending referees into the center of the tension. But because it was considered a so-called "friendly," there were no sanctions that could have carried beyond the game.