Santander strikes two past Osasuna

BY foxsports • January 15, 2012

Osasuna's 11-game unbeaten run at home came to an end as Racing continued their excellent start to Juanjo Gonzalez's reign with a 2-0 win at the Reyno de Navarra.

After a cagey opening to the game Racing were given the opportunity to take the lead when referee Close Gomez somewhat harshly penalised Damia Abella for a handball inside the area. Christian Stuani took the spot-kick and despite Andres Fernandez getting a hand to it, he couldn't keep it out.

Osasuna had the better of the play after the break but Miguel Flano passed up a glorious opportunity to equalise as he shot over on 58 minutes.

Ten minutes later Gomez awarded the visitors another penalty as Lautaro Acosta went down, and this time Stuani beat Andres more comfortably to seal Racing's third win in five games.

Roland Lamah had Osasuna's best effort of the first half 12 minutes in as the ball fell to him at the back post but Tono got down well to turn his powerful shot behind.

For most of the first period, though, neither side looked capable of breaking the deadlock until Racing were gifted the opener five minutes before the break.

Acosta's cross did appear to hit Damia on the hand but the defender had little time to react, nor was his hand in an unnatural position. Nevertheless, Gomez pointed to the spot and despite Andres' best efforts, Stuani slotted home his seventh goal of the season.

The hosts improved greatly after the break but lacked the cutting edge in the final third to break down a well-organised Racing defence. At set-pieces, though Osasuna were looking as threatening as ever and Miguel Flano should have brought them back on level terms but he somehow scooped the ball over from six yards out after Tono had clawed away Javad Nekounam's cross.

However, the home side's pressure was to count for nothing as with 20 minutes remaining as Acosta was tripped after a cluster of Osasuna players panicked in trying to get the ball clear. Gomez had no hesitation in awarding a second penalty and Stuani's effort this time gave Andres no chance, clipping the inside of the post on its way into the net.

Osasuna responded well in the final quarter as Raul Garcia's excellent effort from distance was well saved by Tono before Ibrahima Balde had the chance to ensure a grandstand finish - but his scuffed effort when clean through summed up Osasuna's day as they slipped to their first defeat in seven.

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