Valencia (Spain), Nov 4 (IANS) Girona got a solid performance from its keeper and a goal shortly after halftime in a 1-0 victory at Mestalla Stadium over Valencia, which has gone winless in its last four Spanish league matches.
Neither team was clearly in control at the beginning, with both clubs trying either to make surprise runs on the counter-attack or attempt long-range passes on Saturday night.
The key play of the first half came in the 34th minute, when the video assistant referee (VAR) system ruled that the ball had gone out-of-bounds before Valencia midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia received a cross and powered a shot that ricocheted off a defender and into Girona’s goal, reports Efe news.
The game remained scoreless at the intermission even though the hosts picked up their intensity over the final 10 minutes of the first half and had two excellent chances to score.
Bounou snuffed out one of those opportunities when he made a save on a header by Rodrigo; the second chance then came and went when Santi Mina clanked a shot off the crossbar following another save by the Girona net minder.
But that momentum did not carry over into the second half, as the visitors went ahead shortly after the intermission on a play facilitated by an error by Kondogbia.
Although Brazilian keeper Neto made a great save to deny an initial scoring chance, Girona midfielder Pere Pons put the deflection into the back of the net in the 48th minute.
Down on the scoreboard, Valencia became even more determined to at least salvage a draw and laid siege to Girona’s penalty area.
But the visitors’ defence proved up to the task and was further bolstered when head coach Eusebio Sacristan replaced forward Seydou Doumbia with central defender Pedro Alcala.
With the win, Girona has moved provisionally into ninth place in La Liga with 16 points.