Vila-real (Spain), May 6 (IANS) Villarreal qualified for the Europa League with a last-minute goal by Mario Gaspar in a match against Valencia, a team that had qualified for the Champions League just two hours before the start of the game, due to Real Betis’ defeat against Athletic Bilbao (2-0).
The first half was intense on Saturday, although Villarreal had the most number of goal attempts, reports Efe.
Valencia, however, had two clear opportunities in the middle of the first half, first with a left-footed shot from Rodrigo Moreno from the left side of the box off a long cross from Santi Mina, and then with a left-footed shot from Santi Mina from the penalty arc, which were both saved by keeper Sergio Asenjo.
As the first half was wrapping up, Villarreal’s Carlos Bacca had two clear opportunities, first with a right-footed shot from close range that flew over the goal and then with a right-footed shot from the centre of the box, which was saved by keeper Neto.
Villarreal started off strong in the second half, with a right-footed shot from Samu Castillejo from the middle of the box, which was saved by Neto.
Few opportunities appeared during the rest of the half and it wasn’t until the 86th minute when the winning goal was scored, with a header by Mario Gaspar off a free kick by Manu Trigueros.