First Division - Day 18

Alavés 1 - Osasuna 1

Alavés: Dutruel; Edu Alonso, Abelardo, Karmona, Llorens; Turiel, Luis Helguera; Jordi Cruyff, Ilie (Magno 58'), Ibon Begoña; Rubén Navarro (Iván Alonso 77'). 4-2-3-1.
Osasuna: Sanzol; Yanguas, Mateo, Cruchaga, Antonio López; Puñal (Palacios 82'), Muñoz (Gancedo 50'); Rivero (Gorka Brit 59'), Iván Rosado, Moha; Aloisi. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Alavés: Turiel, Jordi Cruyff for Téllez, Magno / Osasuna: Muñoz for Alfredo.

1-0. 40. Ilie. Shot into roof of net after Jordi Cruyff header saved by Sanzol.
1-1. 87. Aloisi. Got ahead of defence to head ball down past Dutruel.

Alavés let their Basque neighbours Osasuna off the hook, and ended up drawing a game they should have had wrapped up a long time before. Mané's side were by far the better of the two in the first half, with Adrian Ilie putting aside his dispute with the club over his improved contract to create havoc for the visiting defence. The Romanian striker went close on three occasions early on, shooting just wide and high twice and then testing Sanzol with a powerful shot which the keeper managed to keep out. Rubén Navarro should have put the Vitoria based side ahead a shot from Luis Helguera came his way, but he tried to be too clever and failed to connect completely with the back of his heel.

Eventually though the pressure paid off, and who else but Ilie was there to blast the ball into the roof of the net after Sanzol blocked a close-up header from Jordi Cruyff five minutes before half time. An unfortunate injury to the goalscorer though in the second half left Alavés without their inspiration, and after that they sat back to defend the lead. Dutruel had to save from Cruchaga's header, and as Mané was preparing to bring on an extra defender for the last couple of minutes, Aloisi ran on to Palacios' ball through to head down past the French keeper. With the opposition in disarray, Iván Rosado almost won it for the visitors when his shot was blocked by Abelardo. A point was enough for them though, and both teams stay above the danger zone for now.