Cornella de Llobregat (Spain), April 19 (IANS) Eibar prevailed 1-0 over RCD Espanyol to post their first victory in seven matches in the top division of Spanish football.
The Basque side, sitting 11th in the La Liga, had the good fortune to face an Espanyol squad mired in an even worse run of form, taking just one point from the their last five games, reports EFE news agency.
Joan Jordan, a former Espanyol player, put a scare into the roughly 12,000 supporters who came out for Wednesday night’s match at the 40,500-seat RCDE Stadium when he hit the post with a header in the 12th minute.
The hosts struggled to string together passes and a run by Leo Baptistao in the 18th minute was the extent of the Espanyol offense in the first half.
Though hardly brilliant, Eibar dominated both possession and territory and nobody was surprised when they took the lead in the 32nd minute with a precise header by David Lomban.
The goal further enraged the already unhappy Espanyol supporters and coach Quique Sanchez Flores had to endure calls from the stands for his resignation.
Sanchez Flores made a change at half-time, sending in Sergio Garcia, and the home side improved enough to create a chance in the 60th minute, though Gerard Moreno’s effort was deflected away from the Eibar goal.
The final 20 minutes saw a lively back-and-forth and Eibar keeper Dmitrovic had to make saves against Moreno and Garcia to preserve the clean sheet.
Seeing their team play with more ambition brought the first cheers of the contest from the Espanyol supporters, but Marc Navarro squandered the hosts’ last chance to equalize, sending his free kick straight into the hands of Dmitrovic.
Now in the 16th spot, Espanyol have 36 points from 33 matches and remain just nine points above the relegation zone.