Betis boost European hopes with 3-1 win over Alaves

Updated on : Mar 13,2018   1:38 pm

Vitoria (Spain), March 13 (IANS) Loren Moron had a brace to lead visiting Real Betis 3-1 over Alaves, leaving his Spanish football club poised to battle for the final European spots in La Liga.

Betis have now climbed to eighth spot, four points behind sixth-place Villarreal, reports Efe.

The hosts, while they saw their unbeaten run in all competitions end at 10, remain 11 points above the drop zone.

Both squads started positively and Alaves threatened in the 7th minute, but a shot by Munir El Haddadi went wide. It took time for Betis to escape the hosts' high press and get downfield and their first chance, in the 13th minute, also came to nothing.

The visitors began to dominate possession and Loren got his first of the night in the 22nd minute, though not without controversy, as the offside flag was up.

After discussion, referee Del Cerro Grande allowed the goal, ruling that an Alaves defender played Loren onside.

Alaves did their best to respond only for a Munir header to miss the target in the 30th minute and Javi Garcia put Betis up 2-0 in the final minute of first-half regulation.

The home side returned to their original tactics at the start of the second period and kept Betis bottled-up for extended spells.

Alaves nearly got on the scoreboard in the 62nd minute when Ibai Gomez's cross took a deflection off a defender and was on the verge of going in before Betis keeper Adan intervened.

Four minutes later, Ruben Sobrino, playing for the injured John Guidetti, took a pass from Martin Aguirregabiria and beat Adan to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Inspired, Alaves went all out for the second goal and only the cross-bar prevented Munir from equalising after a free kick by Ibai and Loren's second goal in the 78th minute put the match out of reach, though the home side battled until the final whistle.