Real Sociedad came a long way in qualifying for the Champions League, by defeating its guest, Rayo Vallecano, with two goals to one, at Real Arena, in the 30th round of the Spanish League.
Real Sociedad came from behind to win for the first time in the Spanish League this season.
The Basque team received the first goal in the 57th minute through the brilliant Izzy Balazon.
But Real Sociedad returned quickly and equalized with a header from Norwegian giants Alexander Sorloth.
The striker, loaned from Leipzig, raised his score to 10 goals in the Spanish League this season.
Coach Emanol Alguasil pushed forward Carlos Fernandez in the 81st minute instead of Sorloth, and the substitute did not disappoint.
The Spanish striker scored the winning goal with another header 41 seconds after his participation, to score only his second goal of the season.
Thus, Real Sociedad raised its tally to 54 points in fourth place, a full 6 points ahead of fifth-placed Real Betis, 8 rounds before the end of the competition.
While Rayo’s balance froze at 40 points in ninth place, his participation in the European Championships next season became elusive.
And in another match early on, Real Betis lost to its host Osasuna, with three goals to two.
Osasuna took the lead with the Croatian double, Ante Bodemir, in the 6th and 11th minutes, but Juan Miranda narrowed the deficit in the 16th minute.
John Moncayola restored the two-goal difference to Osasuna in the 41st minute.
Argentine world champion Guido Rodriguez scored Betis’s second goal in the 70th minute.
The match witnessed the entry of Joaquin Sanchez, captain of Betis, as a substitute in the 65th minute, in his first appearance after announcing his retirement from football at the end of the current season.
Joaquin raised his score to 616 matches in his career in the Spanish League, 6 matches behind Andoni Zubizarreta, who holds the record in the competition.
Betis’ balance froze at 48 points in fifth place, while Osasuna raised its score to 41 points in eighth place and began a different struggle to qualify for the European Conference League.
Osasuna qualifies for the European League if it beats Real Madrid in the King’s Cup final next month.
Osasuna beat Betis for the first time since November 2014, at that time in the Spanish second division.
Continuing with the struggle for European seats, Athletic Bilbao defeated its host Almeria, with two goals to one, at the Power Horse Stadium.
Neco Williams took the lead for the guests after 9 minutes, then Oscar de Marcos added the second goal for the Basque Lions in the 56th minute.
Alex Sentis narrowed the deficit for Almeria with a beautiful shot in the final seconds, but the time was not enough for the Mediterranean team to return to the score.
Athletic Bilbao raised its tally to 46 points in seventh place, one point behind sixth-placed Villarreal, who played a lesser match.
While Almeria’s balance froze at 30 points in 17th place, it threatened to fall back into relegation positions if Valencia beat Elche.
In a fourth match, Valladolid defeated its guest, Girona, with a single goal, at the Jose Zoria stadium.
Moncho scored Valladolid’s only goal in the 24th minute.
A goal was enough for Ronaldo Nazario to raise its tally to 35 points in 14th place, 7 points behind the nearest relegation centers.
While Almeria’s balance was frozen at 38 points, in tenth place.
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