First Division - Day 33

Rayo Vallecano 1 - Betis 1

Rayo: Imanol Etxeberría; Mauro, Quevedo, Onopko, Graff; Pablo Sanz (Iriney 46'), Mora; Peragón, Michel, Dorado (Luis Cembranos 68'); Bolo (Bolic 55'). 4-2-3-1.
Betis: Prats; Tais, Juanito, Filipescu, Luis Fernández; Arzu (Benjamín 75'), Marcos Assunçao (Ito 60'); Joaquín (Gastón Casas 79'), Fernando, Varela; Alfonso. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Rayo: Imanol Etxeberría, Graff, Pablo Sanz, Bolo for Segura, Iriney, Helder, Bolic / Betis: Varela, Alfonso for Capi, Dani.

1-0. 05. Bolo. Header down into far bottom corner from Michel's corner.
1-1. 44. Fernando. Headed ball up into net from Varela's long cross in.

Rayo Vallecano and Betis drew 1-1 on Sunday evening, a result which did neither team any favours. Rayo ended the weekend even further adrift of their opponents at the bottom of the table, and Betis lost some ground (although it could have been worse) on their rivals for the last UEFA cup spot. Rayo's caretaker manager Iriondo was confirmed in his position after Fernando Vázquez turned down a possible return, and he decided to change goalkeepers for this match, bringing back Imanol. He also drafted in Bolo at centre forward, and he became the club's all time top goalscorer in the first division when he headed home Michel's corner in the fifth minute.

Betis were not really in the match at all, their two young wingers Joaquín and Varela hardly getting a sniff of the ball. However Varela did manage to get in a cross just before the break, and Fernando took advantage of slack defending to head the equaliser. The visitors disappeared again in the second half though, leaving Alfonso alone up front, and Rayo took the game into their opponents half. But except for a couple of efforts from Bolic (who had substituted the injured Bolo), they were just not good enough to break through.

The crowd at least appreciated their efforts and applauded them off the pitch, but with seven points separating them from safety they are already looking like second division material. Betis for their part have now gone five games without a win, and a return to European competition looks less likely every day.