Soccer

10-man Getafe beats nine-man Zaragoza in La Liga

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Associated Press
10/6/2012 4:04:12 PM
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BARCELONA, Spain -- Already impressive at home, 10-man Getafe collected its first away victory of the Spanish league season on Saturday by winning 1-0 at nine-man Real Zaragoza thanks to midfielder Diego Castro's penalty.

Ndri Romaric left host Zaragoza a player down in the ninth minute when he was shown a direct red card for a knee-high, studs-first tackle on Mehdi Lacen.

Zaragoza still managed to create more chances than Getafe until Alvaro Gonzalez was sent off in the second half for tripping Getafe forward Pedro Leon in front of goal.

Castro scored the resulting penalty in the 69th minute despite goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez getting a touch on his low strike, and Getafe held on after Abdelaziz Barrada was sent off for a tackle on Jose Maria Martin in the 84th.

"Luck was with us and eventually we put one in. I am thrilled with our start to the season," said coach Luis Plaza, whose Getafe had already won twice at home, against Real Madrid and a then-unbeaten Mallorca side.

Zaragoza, meanwhile, has lost five of its first seven matches and looks set for another season-long struggle to avoid relegation.

"Some of my players are crying from a sense of impotence right now," said Zaragoza coach Manolo Jimenez. "We are exhausted and the crude reality is that we have six points, even though we have deserved more."

Also on Saturday, Real Betis beat Real Sociedad 2-0 at home with goalkeeper Adrian San Miguel backing up Paulao's and Ruben Castro's goals with an inspired performance.

Betis defender Paulao muscled by his marker to meet Juan Carlos Perez's corner at the near post and head it through the arms of goalkeeper Enau Zubikarai in the 18th minute.

Castro, who had hit the woodwork earlier, sealed Betis' first win in three rounds in the 81st with a header after Adrian had denied Sociedad forward Carlos Vela on various occasions.

Elsewhere, Oscar Gonzalez scored with a header in the 82nd minute for Valladolid to escape with a 1-1 home draw against 10-man Espanyol, while Rayo Vallecano netted twice in the first half to beat visiting Deportivo La Coruna 2-1.

Last-place Espanyol was reduced to 10 men in the 45th when Victor Alvarez received a second booking. But it showed more intent after halftime and deservedly went ahead through Joan Verdu's penalty in the 70th after striker Samuele Longo had been fouled in the box.

After Oscar turned in Patrick Ebert's corner to level, Verdu appeared to have snatched the win in added time, only to be ruled offside.

Espanyol coach Mauricio Pochettino will now be under even more pressure after having won just two of a possible 21 points.

"We should have won with 11 and then with 10," said Pochettino. "We have had a sending off in five of our seven games, and it seems the team is now used to playing a man down."

Rayo's victory over Deportivo broke a three-game losing run for the modest Madrid-based club.

Francisco "Piti" Medina finished off a team attack in the 18th minute, and Jose Carlos Fernandez doubled the hosts' lead at Vallecas stadium in the 29th.

Luis "Pizzi" Afonso pulled one back for Deportivo with his spot kick in the 41st after Javi Fuego knocked Alex Bergantinos down in the area.

On Sunday, league leader Barcelona looks for a club-record seventh win in seven games at the start of the season when it hosts Madrid.

Also, it's: Levante vs. Valencia; Mallorca vs. Granada; Athletic Bilbao vs. Osasuna; and Atletico Madrid vs. Malaga.

Celta Vigo beat Sevilla 2-0 on Friday.

Soccer balls (Photo: Martin Rose/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Martin Rose/Getty Images)
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