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Girona tops Rayo Vallecano 2-1 with brace from Portu, ending winless skid

Girona (Spain), Oct 27 (IANS) A brace from Spanish attacking midfielder Cristian “Portu” Portugues Manzanera on Saturday led Girona to defeat Rayo Vallecano 2-1, earning its first La Liga win in six games.

On the strength of Portu and Honduran forward Anthony “Choco” Lozano, Girona imposed its rhythm in the early stages of the home game in front of 6,618 fans, who braved the heavy rain here at Montilivi stadium, reports Efe.

Choco even had a scoring opportunity in the opening minutes, when he was set up for a one-on-one situation against Rayo goalkeeper Alberto Garcia, who was able to fend off the attack.

Girona was awarded a penalty kick in the 33rd minute after Rayo Vallecano central defender Alejandro Galvez fouled Choco inside the area, which Portu successfully converted in his first goal of the season.

The home side was hungry for more and could have scored again on a shot by attacking midfielder Borja Garcia, which forced a brilliant save from Garcia.

Girona central defender Juan Pedro “Juanpe” Ramirez Lopez then squandered another scoring opportunity on a header that went just high, while Portu missed in his own one-on-one situation with Garcia.

But with just one minute to go before first half stoppage time, substitute Carles Planas, who replaced injured Aday Benitez, started a play that Portu culminated in a lift-footed shot that got past Garcia.

The second half, however, had an unpleasant surprise for Portu as he sustained an injury three minutes before the one hour mark that forced him to leave the field.

Just four minutes later, Rayo Vallecano pulled one back thanks to Galvez, boosting his teammates’ morale.

Having weathered the storm, Girona had chances to score the insurance as Carles Planas and Choco unsuccessfully tried their luck, but the game remained locked at 2-1.

–IANS
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