Eibar (Spain), Nov 4 (IANS) A stoppage-time header from midfielder Papakouli Diop gave Eibar a late 2-1 win over Alaves in the Basque Country derby on Sunday, earning its first La Liga victory in four games.
Video assistant referee (VAR) gave Alaves an early lead, reversing the decision on the field and awarding a goal for Manu Garcia’s header just three minutes into the match, reports Efe news.
The quick goal came despite Eibar coach Jose Luis Mendilibar’s decision to line up only one striker and three midfielders, apparently to avoid the defensive errors that had proved costly in recent matches.
Surprisingly, Alaves’ starting lineup did not feature goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco Flores, replaced by Marko Dmitrovic of Serbia.
VAR stepped in once again in the 22nd minute, when a penalty call by referee Iglesias Villanueva was overturned as it apparently showed that the foul committed by Alaves defender Ruben Duarte was outside the box, but the Spanish player was sent off for preventing a promising attacking chance.
Outnumbered, Alaves brought on right back Carlos Vigaray to replace Spanish striker Borja Baston, and managed to keep their 1-0 lead when the first half ended.
In the 68th minute, Pablo equalized on midfielder Joan Jordan’s right-footed shot from outside the box, with an assist from left back Marc Cucurella.
Apparently seizing the game’s momentum, Eibar managed to pull off the win in the first minute of stoppage time thanks to Diop’s close-range header.