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Valencia gets winner in stoppage time

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Valencia gets winner in stoppage time

Ricardo Costa\’s stoppage-time header earned Valencia a 3-2 victory in a topsy-turvy Primera Division encounter Saturday evening as bottom team Deportivo La Coruna surrendered a 2-1 lead at the Riazor and finished the game with nine men.

The match was all-action from the outset, with Jonas\’ looping header after just 31 seconds putting Los Che ahead before Riki\’s brace gave Deportivo a halftime advantage.

Silvio\’s needless dismissal seven minutes after the restart changed the course of the game, though, as Nelson Valdez equalized and then Costa bagged a dramatic late winner — to lift Valencia to fifth — before Paulo Assuncao\’s red card rubbed further salt in the hosts\’ wounds.

There was also late drama at the Ciutat de Valencia, where Antonio Rukavina\’s stoppage-time own goal handed Levante a come-from-behind 2-1 triumph over Real Valladolid.

Javier Baraja had given the visitors an early lead with a sweetly struck volley but Levante equalized two minutes before halftime through Jose Barkero\’s fine curling free kick.

Then, in added time, Valdo miscontrolled Obafemi Martins\’ pass but the loose ball struck Rukavina and deflected past the helpless Dani Hernandez and into the net.

Elsewhere in La Liga on Saturday, Real Sociedad stretched its impressive run to just one defeat in 11 league games but was unable to make the numerical advantage count as 10-man Celta Vigo held on for a 1-1 draw at Balaidos.

Michael Krohn-Dehli had given the hosts the lead with a wonderfully worked goal on 32 minutes but Celta was forced onto the back foot just after the break when Augusto Fernandez received a second yellow card for a handball.

Gorka Elustondo then brought Sociedad level with a powerful header from Gonzalo Castro\’s corner just before the hour mark, but the visitors failed to create many more clear-cut chances in the final half-hour and remained five points off the top four.

Finally, Espanyol continued its impressive revival under coach Javier Aguirre with a goalless draw at Real Zaragoza in a match of few clear-cut opportunities.

Both teams finished the match with 10 men as Espanyol\’s Javi Lopez and Cristian Sapunaru of Zaragoza were sent off in the closing stages.

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