Soccer

Osasuna beats Rayo Vallecano, escapes relegation

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The Associated Press
11/30/2012 7:20:28 PM
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PAMPLONA, Spain -- Osasuna beat Rayo Vallecano 1-0 thanks to an early goal from striker Kike Sola on Friday, provisionally lifting the Pamplona-based team out of the Spanish league's relegation zone.

Sola ran onto Alvaro Cejudo's pass down the right flank and beat goalkeeper David Cobeno with a chip shot from a tight angle in the fifth minute at Reyno de Navarra stadium.

Rayo's best chance of equalizing came four minutes later, but Osasuna goalkeeper Andres Fernandez rushed out to block an effort by Francisco "Piti" Medina.

Osasuna kept a clean sheet for the fifth straight game without a loss, including the Copa del Rey. Rayo, meanwhile, stayed in the middle of the standings.

"We had that little bit of luck that they were lacking," said Osasuna coach Jose Mendilibar. "We didn't play particularly well. We created few chances, but we managed to pull out the victory based on our effort and pressing them as much as possible."

On Saturday, leader Barcelona hosts Athletic Bilbao before second-place Atletico Madrid visits third-place Real Madrid looking for its first win in the Spanish capital derby in 13 years.

Also Saturday, fourth-place Malaga visits Getafe, while Valencia hosts Real Sociedad.

On Sunday, Javier Aguirre takes charge of his first game for last-place Espanyol at Granada after replacing Mauricio Pochettino midweek. Elsewhere, it's: Deportivo La Coruna vs. Real Betis; Celta Vigo vs. Levante; and Mallorca vs. Real Zaragoza.

Valladolid is at Sevilla on Monday.

Soccer balls (Photo: Martin Rose/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Martin Rose/Getty Images)
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