Real Betis stuns Valencia in Seville
Two injury-time goals from Ruben Castro saw Real Betis spring a major surprise by beating third-placed Valencia 2-1 in the Primera Division.
The visitors had gone ahead midway through the second half thanks to Jose Antonio Dorado’s own goal and, despite exerting a lot of pressure, it appeared Betis would finish the game empty-handed.
However, Castro headed home to level before firing a winner to earn the Andalucians their first win in 11 and ease some of the pressure on coach Pepe Mel.
It was a shock for the visitors, who are in Levante’s sights after their victory earlier drew them level on points with Los Che.
Alejandro Pozuelo’s second-minute 25-yard shot was blocked by Mehmet Topal as the hosts displayed their attacking intent from the off.
Valencia responded and Betis were indebted to goalkeeper Casto Espinosa who tipped Roberto Soldado’s close-range shot around the post.
Roque Santa Cruz’s shot for Betis was blocked by Angel Dealbert while Nacho’s effort was wide as the hosts looked for a breakthrough.
However, the chances dried up the more the half wore on and the break was reached with the game goalless.
Shortly after half-time Betis almost took the lead. Benat Etxebarria drilled a right-footed free kick from 25 yards which was tipped round the post by Diego Alves.
Betis were belying their lowly status with Jonathan Pereira and Castro both shooting wide and appeared to be the most likely to make the breakthrough.
However, it was Valencia who went ahead midway through the second half through a fortunate own goal by Dorado who turned the ball into his own net from Jeremy Mathieu’s cross.
Betis attempted to respond immediately, Castro shooting high before Santa Cruz headed inches over from Etxebarria’s corner.
Pereira and Jorge Molina fired wide but it seemed the hosts were running out of time before Castro’s intervention as he headed home from Juanma’s corner to level.
Moments later and Betis claimed a shock win thanks to Castro’s second goal in a minute, again assisted by Juanma whose pass the former pounced on to drill the winner high into the top left of the goal for a vital victory.