Late strike gives Elche a narrow win over Celta Vigo

Carles Gil gave Elche a 1-0 win over Celta Vigo.

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

A magnificent late strike by Carles Gil saw Elche claim a 1-0 victory over Celta Vigo having spent most of the game trying to keep their opponents at bay.

The midfielder came off the bench in the second half and combined with Coro before tucking the ball into the net with six minutes remaining to take the Alicante club six points clear of the relegation zone and up to 13th in the Primera Division table, just one point behind Celta, who remain 11th.

Elche came out of the blocks quickest and created three openings in the first 10 minutes, the best of which fell to Manu del Moral, whose header struck a post after he connected with a cross from Javi Marquez.

Albacar then hit the crossbar with a well-struck effort from distance.

It took the visitors half an hour to work Manu Herrera, young striker Santi Mina controlling a cross with his chest before shooting straight at the Elche goalkeeper.

It was the first of a number of chances they created before the break. Augusto Fernandez then fluffed a free shot at goal, an effort from Fabian Orellana whizzed past the far post and then Fernandez headed wide of the near post.

But it was Elche who squandered the clearest chance, Cristian Herrera heading over from six yards out.

Celta’s superiority continued in the second half, and Manu Herrera came to the hosts’ aid by making a tremendous double save, keeping out a free-kick from Orellana and then the follow-up from Andreu Fontas.

And Luis Enrique’s side should have grabbed a winner in the closing stages, but Charles was unable to divert a free-kick from Rafinha between the posts.

Less than a minute later, Elche went up the other end to punish their opponents.

Gil played in Coro down the left hand side then kept pace with his team-mate, who returned the pass just as Gil was entering the area.

The substitute then turned Rafinha in the box and fired a low shot into the bottom corner with his other foot.

Celta forced two late corners but were unable to create anything with either, and Fran Escriba’s side took all the points.