Villarreal salvage draw at Racing

Villarreal's Champions League spot chase suffers a blow as they rescue a 2-2 draw in Spain's Primera Division.

     Villarreal have not won in their last four Primera Division games [AFP]

    Substitute Nilmar scored an injury-time equaliser as Villarreal twice had to come from behind to rescue a 2-2 draw at Racing Santander in Spain’s Primera Division on Sunday.

    Villarreal’s bid for a European Champions league spot stuttered as the Brazilian striker only just nudged home the equaliser in the second minute of injury time after Giovani Dos Santos' 68th-minute goal had appeared to give Santander a third straight win since coach Marcelino Garcia Toral's arrival.

    Villarreal have failed to build on their Europa League victory over Serie A side Napoli and have not won in their last four league games, losing twice and drawing at home to bottom club Malaga.

    Villarreal sit one point behind third-place Valencia, who played Athletic Bilbao later on Sunday.

    Valencia are third, 13 points behind Madrid. Espanyol are fifth ahead of Bilbao.

    Racing ahead

    Racing are undefeated since Indian businessman Ahsan Ali Syed completed his takeover of the club at the end of January and stay in 12th on 29 points, five clear of the relegation places.

    Results

    Saturday 26 February
     
     Atl Madrid 2-2 Sevilla
     Espanyol 4-1 Sociedad
     Gijon 0-0 Zaragoza
     Mallorca 0-3 Barca
     Deportivo 0-0 Real

    Sunday February 27

     Hercules 0-0 Getafe
     Levante 2-1 Osasuna
     S'tander 2-2 Villarreal
     Athl Bilbao v Valencia

    They took the lead at a festive Sardinero stadium in the third minute when burly forward Ariel tapped in from close range, sparking wild celebrations from Ali Syed in the stands.

    Villarreal's woes were compounded when coach Juan Carlos Garrido was sent from the bench early in the second half but they grabbed an equaliser in the 66th via a Marco Ruben header.

    Racing substitute Giovani Dos Santos struck a superb goal two minutes later when he raced onto a Pedro Munitis pass and directed a low shot past Diego Lopez before striker Nilmar bundled home for the visitors in added time.

    Earlier, Felipe Caicedo scored the winner as Levante beat Osasuna 2-1 for their fourth win in five games.

    The Ecuador striker took advantage of goalkeeper Ricardo Lopez's hesitation in the 50th minute for his 10th goal of the season.

    Walter Pandiani headed Osasuna ahead after 41 minutes before Sergio Ballesteros struck the equaliser three minutes later at the Ciutat de Valencia stadium.

    Levante moved one point above Osasuna, who haven’t won away in more than one year, and three clear of Zaragoza, who are sitting in the last relegation place.

    Also, Getafe drew 0-0 at Hercules, who have one win in their last six to sit two points above Zaragoza.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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