Tue, Apr 05, 2011 - Page 20 News List

LFP: Sevilla go fifth in La Liga as Zaragoza pay penalty

AFP, MADRID

Malaga’s Francisco Portillo, left, vies for the ball with Levante’s Juanlu during their match at the Ciutat de Valencia Stadium on Sunday in Valencia, Spain.

Photo: EPA

Second-half penalties from Freddy Kanoute and Alvaro Negredo helped Sevilla to a 3-1 home win over strugglers Real Zaragoza on Sunday as they moved up to fifth in the Spanish first division.

Diego Perotti had put Sevilla ahead on 43 minutes, only for Czech Jiri Jarosik to equalize two minutes after the break.

Hosts Sevilla were then awarded a fortunate penalty with Martin Caceres adjudged to have been fouled. Kanoute converted the 56th-minute spot-kick for his ninth league goal of the season.

Negredo won another penalty, which he converted himself, in the dying seconds of the match and the defeat leaves Zaragoza languishing one point ahead of the relegation zone with eight games to save themselves.

Sevilla go two points above Espanyol into fifth after the Barcelona-based side saw their European hopes dented by a 2-1 home loss to Racing Santander at the Cornella-El Prat Stadium on Sunday.

Argentine Pablo Osvaldo converted a 37th-minute penalty to put Espanyol ahead, but second-half goals from Gonzalo Colsa and Mexican Giovanni dos Santos turned the game in Racing’s favor.

Atletico Madrid took full advantage of Espanyol’s slip with a 3-2 win over Osasuna in Pamplona to move one point off the top six.

Brazilian striker Diego Costa scored a hat-trick for Atletico after Kike Sola had put Osasuna in front on 31 minutes.

Earlier, new Hercules coach Miroslav Djukic enjoyed a winning start in his first match in charge as his team won 3-1 at Real Sociedad to move off the foot of the table.

Promoted Hercules had lost nine out of their last 11 league matches, but former Serbia and Montenegro national coach Djukic inspired their first league win since mid-February as they climbed to 18th in the standings.

“The hard work and talking about things don’t mean anything if they are not reflected in the scoreline,” Djukic said. “This is just the beginning of the road and there are eight stops left, so there is no time to relax.”

Royston Drenthe scored twice in the final 10 minutes to ensure victory for Hercules after a 69th-minute header from Javier Portillo had put them ahead.

Hercules move off the bottom, with Almeria replacing them.

Deportivo La Coruna moved five points clear of the drop zone with a 2-1 comeback home win over Real Mallorca.

Pierre Webo headed Mallorca ahead on 26 minutes, but midfielder Xisco equalized and Lassad Nouioui struck a 66th-minute winner at the Riazor.

In other matches, promoted Levante are almost safe after a 3-1 win over strugglers Malaga.

Two goals in the opening eight minutes helped Levante surge nine points above the relegation zone, while Malaga stay second from bottom.

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