RC Deportivo de La Coruna beat CA Osasuna 2-0 in their return to the top flight thanks to second-half goals by forwards Ivan “Riki” Sanchez and Nelson Oliviera on Monday.
Riki made up for a missed penalty by scoring in the 53rd minute and Oliveira, a young Portugal prospect, sealed the win at the Riazor in stoppage-time with a superb individual effort.
Also on Monday, Roberto Trashorras scored from a free-kick deep into stoppage-time to give Rayo Vallecano de Madrid coach Paco Jemez a 1-0 win over Granada on his debut.
In the late game, newly promoted Real Valladolid won 1-0 at Real Zaragoza to close out the first round of matches.
While Osasuna carried the weight of play in the first half, it was Deportivo who had the best chances to go ahead.
Luis “Pizzi” Afonso hit the crossbar in the seventh minute and Riki sent a spot-kick off the post, squandering the chance after Miguel Flano’s foul on Bruno Gama in the penalty area.
Riki compensated for his miss in the 53rd minute when he raced down the right flank, cut back and fired between the near post and goalkeeper Andres Fernandez.
Oliviera went on for Riki in the 64th minute for his debut in La Liga after arriving on loan in the off-season from Benfica.
The 21-year-old, who played for Portugal in Euro 2012, scored two minutes into stoppage-time when he ran onto a long pass, rode a defender and coolly chipped over Fernandez.
“I am satisfied more with how we played than with the result,” said coach Jose Oltra, who led Deportivo back from the second division after one season.
“The team played with a clear idea of what we wanted to do,” he said.
“There are still some things to work on, but we are on the right course,” he added.
After 94 minutes of rough-and-tumble soccer, Rayo and Granada looked destined to share the points until Rayo earned a free-kick with stoppage-time almost expired. Trashorras did not waste his team’s last chance as the midfielder curled the ball over the wall and beyond the outstretched goalkeeper to claim the win for the hosts in dramatic fashion.
Despite the victory, Jemez said he was not completely satisfied with how his team played in what was overall a sloppy affair for both sides.
“In the first half we played well, but in the second we lost control of the game and made mistakes that allowed [Granada] to press forward,” he said.
“The win will help us think in a humble way about what we need to do to stay up this season,” Jemez added.
After resisting Zaragoza’s initial surge, Valladolid went ahead at La Romareda a minute before halftime by executing a counterattack to perfection. Forward Oscar Gonzalez played in Omar Ramos wide on the left and then charged forward into the area to knock a low cross past goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez.
Jimenez saved a penalty later to keep Zaragoza in the game, but the visitors held on for the win.
“We played well and leave with good sensations,” said Gonzalez, a former Zaragoza player. “We know we need to work more in defense and that it will be tough this season, but we also know that if we play well we’ll get good results.”