Sevilla beats Sociedad 1-0, keeps Europa League hopes alive

MADRID (AP) Sevilla returned to the Europa League qualification zone after beating Real Sociedad 1-0 in the Spanish league on Friday.

Ever Banega converted a penalty kick early in the second half to help the hosts end a nine-match winless run in all competitions.

Sevilla jumped from eighth to seventh in the standings, the final spot for the Europa League. It is three points behind sixth-place Villarreal, which hosts Valencia on Saturday.

Sevilla has a game in hand, against Real Madrid at home.

Real Sociedad stayed 10th, five points behind Sevilla.

It was Sevilla’s first match since firing coach Vincenzo Montella for poor results.

Joaquin Caparros, who coached the team in the early 2000s, will be in charge of the squad until the end of the season.

Barcelona clinched its 25th league title last weekend.

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