Valencia grab late leveller


The 10 men of Valencia scored a late equaliser to salvage a point from their Primera Division opener at Sevilla. In a match of few chances, Valencia trailed to Aleix Vidal's goal moments before half-time, and were down to 10 men after Rodrigo de Paul's debut lasted just 63 seconds before he saw red. But with time running out, Lucas Orban's rather unorthodox goal – best described as a diving shoulder into the net – settled a 1-1 draw and earned a point two minutes from time. Valencia had the first clear opening, but Pablo Piatti watched in agony as his shot struck the left-hand post, rolled across the line and bounced out off the right-hand post, and from then on they were second best until half-time. Not that Sevilla did much to suggest they would make it pay, and time ticked by with the only incident of note being an injury – which appeared to be a pulled hamstring – for Sevilla goalkeeper Antonio Beto, bringing an early debut from Mariano Barbosa. A great sliding tackle from Jose Gaya prevented Carlos Bacca going through on goal – with Daniel Carrico pulling a shot wide from the resulting corner – before the goal arrived just before half-time. Vidal scored it with only the second shot on target of the match – and it was the rebound from the first. Bacca was the architect as his direct run attracted three defenders before he poked the ball to Vidal, who side-footed home after his first shot was blocked. Valencia, whose only sniff after Piatti's chance came when Barbosa almost gifted possession to Paco Alcacer, showed little improvement after the break. Rodrigo Moreno blazed wastefully over on the hour mark, and it was Sevilla who came closest to scoring again when the ball fell for Machin Vitolo to drag wide. De Paul, the 20-year-old winger who joined from Racing in the summer, then came into the fray but had barely been on the pitch 30 seconds when he tangled with Vidal and earned a straight red for a flailing elbow which drew blood. Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves was also in trouble, booked for a needless clash with Vitolo after an offside flag had been raised, and the visitors were in danger of losing their discipline. But instead they lifted themselves in the final 10 minutes and began to build pressure. Parejo went close with a free-kick before Barbosa did well to adjust his feet and keep out Moreno's deflected effort. The goal came in fortuitous circumstances in the 88th minute. Nicolas Otamendi's deflected shot was blocked but the ball span up and Orban launched himself at it, happy for it to go in off any part of his body.