Sun, Dec 15, 2019 - Page 11 News List

Alaves salvage draw with Leganes

AP, VITORIA, Spain

Lille OSC forward Renato Sanches, center, peels off his jersey in celebration after scoring in their Ligue 1 match against Montpellier Herault at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Villeneuve-d’Ascq, France, on Friday.

Photo: AFP

Deportivo Alaves striker Joselu Mato on Friday scored his seventh goal in La Liga to salvage a 1-1 draw at home against CD Leganes.

Alaves ended a two-game losing run and stands six points above the relegation zone, while Leganes remain in second-to-last place and winless on the road this season.

Alaves created the most scoring chances, but the visitors went ahead when Martin Braithwaite scored from a low cross by Kevin Rodrigues just before halftime.

Leganes defended better in the second half until Mato finished off a rebound after the defense failed to clear a corner-kick.

Before Mato’s goal, Alaves goalie Fernando Pacheco snuffed out a great chance for Leganes to put the result beyond doubt when he stripped the ball from Roque Mesa in a two-on-one counterattack.

Mato, a former Real Madrid youth player, returned to Spain during the off-season after seeing limited playing time during two campaigns at English club Newcastle United.

“I am very happy here. It is clear that during the past two seasons I was not given the chance to show what I can do,” Mato said.

BUNDESLIGA

Florian Niederlechner on Friday led Augsburg at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim to a 4-2 win that lifted his side to 10th, ahead of the rest of the Bundesliga’s 15th round.

Niederlechner gave Philipp Max a tap-in in the 11th minute — three minutes before Robert Skov equalized — and was fouled for a penalty in the 50th minute. Max duly claimed his second goal from the spot.

Niederlechner then set up Fredrik Jensen in the 56th minute for a 3-1 lead.

Skov set up Jurgen Locadia for Hoffenheim in the 80th minute, but Niederlechner intervened again as he set up Brazilian defender Iago to seal the result five minutes later.

Defeat stretched Hoffenheim’s winless run to four games. Alfred Schreuder’s side previously won five in a row, starting with 2-1 at Bayern Munich.

Meanwhile, Augsburg stretched their unbeaten run to six games.

LIGUE 1

Renato Sanches on Friday gave home fans a sign of things to come with a winning goal, as Lille OSC strengthened their grip on third place in Ligue 1 by beating Montpellier Herault 2-1.

Lille moved three points behind second-placed Marseille, who looked for a seventh straight win when they traveled to Metz yesterday.

Sanches latched onto a superb flick from forward Jonathan Ikone, accelerated down the left sideline and cut outside a defender before thumping a low shot into the bottom corner in the 84th minute.

It was the kind of goal that Lille hoped for when spending 20 million euros (US$22.2 million) during the off-season to sign the 22-year-old Portugal international from Bayern Munich, making him the northern French club’s record signing.

Victor Osimhen had a penalty well saved by Montpellier goalie Geronimo Rulli moments after Sanches’ goal.

Osimhen’s run led to Lille’s opening goal from the penalty spot in the 40th minute, when Rulli rushed rashly off his line and clattered into the Nigeria striker.

Ikone sent Rulli the wrong way from the spot, but the France forward did not celebrate, having previously played for Montpellier on loan from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

It was the first penalty conceded by Montpellier this season, leaving defending champions PSG as the only side not to concede one. For Lille, it was a league-leading sixth spot-kick.

Two Montpellier players were involved in a freak first-half injury as Teji Savanier headed the ball straight into the face of 18-year-old teammate Joris Chotard, causing blood to pour from his nose.

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