Elche wins 1-0 at Eibar to move farther from drop in Spain
EIBAR, Spain (AP) — Elche earned a 1-0 win at Eibar to edge farther away from the Spanish league’s relegation zone on Monday.
Elche striker Jonathas glanced Eduardo Albacar’s lobbed free kick just enough with his head to send it bouncing past goalkeeper Xabier Irureta in the 50th minute. It was the Brazilian’s team-leading ninth goal of the season.
Elche did little else in attack and needed goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton to make several good saves to secure the victory, including a second stop of an Ander Capa strike in the final minutes.
The Basque hosts finished with 10 men after Federico Piovaccari was shown a direct red card for swinging his arm into Albacar’s face while they both jumped to dispute a high ball with 12 minutes to play.
“We have worked hard all week for this, it’s a big step for us,” Jonathas said.
Elche stayed in 17th place, one spot above the danger zone, but did open a four-point gap above the three teams currently in the drop.
A fourth consecutive defeat left Eibar in 10th place. The promoted club that was the sensation of the first half of the season seems to have hit a wall.
“This is a very bad result for us,” said Eibar’s Eneko Boveda. “It was essential for us to get back to what we had been doing before these past few weeks. Now everything is proving more difficult for us. We have gone backward.”
Real Madrid leads Barcelona by one point at the top of the standings after 23 rounds.