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Football

Real Sociedad stay in the hunt

Sociedad draw at Espanyol to strengthen hold on fourth place as Depor secure first away win in Spain's Primera Division.

Last Modified: 31 Mar 2013 19:43
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Last-place Deportivo La Coruna secured their first away win of the season with a 3-2 victory over Mallorca, boosting their hopes of escaping the relegation zone [EPA]

An own-goal by Javi Lopez earned Real Sociedad a deserved 2-2 draw at Espanyol on Sunday to leave them clear in fourth place in the Primera Division and on course for the Champions League next season.

The covering Espanyol defender booted Antoine Griezmann's attempted layoff past his own keeper for the equaliser in the 76th minute as Sociedad extended their run to 19 games with only one defeat.

The club from San Sebastian are fourth with 48 points and nine games left, one ahead of fifth-placed Malaga who won 3-1 at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.

Barcelona are top with 75 points after a 2-2 draw at lowly Celta Vigo on Saturday, when second-placed Real Madrid, with 62 points, were held 1-1 at Real Zaragoza.

Early lead

Espanyol took the lead after nine minutes when Simao crossed low for former Spain striker Sergio Garcia to dink in a close-range shot.

Sociedad patiently worked their way back into the game and levelled when David Zurutuza volleyed a long-range lob into the empty net from a weak punched clearance.

A wonderful piece of skill from Sergio Garcia won him space on the left and he crossed for Christian Stuani to volley Espanyol back in front again before the break.

The visitors dominated the second period and were well worth the equaliser when Lopez stuck out a foot to block Griezmann's cross and slotted the ball inside his own near post.

In the midday kickoff, Kike Sola scored twice as Osasuna came from behind to win 3-1 at Real Valladolid At the foot of the standings, Deportivo La Coruna fired their survival hopes with a 3-2 comeback victory at fellow strugglers Real Mallorca, earning their first away win of the campaign.

Silvio, Carlos Marchena and Riki netted the goals that put Depor 3-1 up midway through the second half, but a scrappy late strike from Emilio Nsue ensured a nail-biting finale at the Iberostar stadium.

Depor remain bottom with 23 points, but are now just four behind 17th-placed Zaragoza and safety.

Mallorca are in 19th with 24 points, behind Celta on goal difference.

378

Source:
Reuters
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