First Division - Day 17

Betis 2 - Alavés 2

Betis: Prats; Varela, Juanito, Rivas, Mingo (César 35'); Marcos Assunçao, Arzu; Joaquín, Fernando, Luis Fernández; Joao Tomas (Gastón Casas 73'). 4-2-3-1.
Alavés: Dutruel; Edu Alonso, Abelardo, Téllez, Karmona, Llorens (Geli 57'); Magno (Turiel 71'), Luis Helguera, Ibon Begoña; Ilie, Rubén Navarro (Jordi Cruyff 57'). 5-3-2.

Team changes: Betis: Mingo, Marcos Assunçao for Tais, Filipescu / Alavés: Edu Alonso, Abelardo, Rubén Navarro for Geli, Turiel, Jordi Cruyff.

1-0. 44. Fernando. Headed over defence from long Joaquín's cross.
1-1. 58. Magno. Picked up long pass to beat offside trap and score.
2-1. 91. Joaquín. Poked ball past keeper after Casas played pass into area.
2-2. 92. Turiel. Turned in Ibon Begoña free kick from close up.

Betis have still to find their form in the new year, and following their disappointing cup tie against Recreativo Huelva midweek, they were held to a 2-2 draw by Alavés. Missing eight members of their squad through injury and suspensions, including the injured Alfonso and Capi and the suspended Denilson, the Andalucians still dominated the first half. A disappointing Joao Tomas missed a couple of chances before Joaquín found Fernando with a long pass for him to head the ball over the defence and in to the net on the stroke of half time.

Mané had lined up with five at the back, and drafted in Rubén Navarro to join Ilie up front. The Romanian striker was in the news midweek as he is threatening to leave if his contract is not improved, but his mind was still on football and he was the only one to cause any problems for Prats, getting free on a quick breakaway but finding his shot saved by the keeper. The visitors drew level though on the hour mark though when Magno ran on to a long ball over the top to curl his shot round the hesitant keeper.

Víctor Fernández replaced Tomas with Gastón Casas, and after going close himself, the Argentine forward played a precision pass through into the penalty area in the last minute for Joaquín to poke the ball past Dutruel. For a minute the Andalucians were in the Champions League spots, but with the fans still celebrating, Turiel got on the end of a long Ibon Begoña free kick to turn the ball past Prats and give his side a valuable point. Víctor Fernández's side still rise a place to fifth after the defeat of Celta the night before, but they must feel that with a little more effort they could have been even higher.