ANDY SCHREUR - Sunday, November 11, 2012
Oguchi Onyewu went the distance as Malaga fell to Real Sociedad while USMNT captain Carlos Bocanegra and Racing Santander did the same to Girona.
Malaga 2 - 1 Real Sociedad
Oguchi Onyewu made his first start for Malaga, but it might be one he'd soon forget.
After qualifying for the knockout round of the Champions League earlier this week, expectations were high playing at home to Real Sociedad.
The guests struck immediately in the first minute when a costly Malaga turnover saw the guests win the ball on the left side of midfield and send a cross to an open Carlos Vela, who directed it past an outstretched Wilson Caballero.
Malaga battled back and tied the contest when an errant clearance from a corner found its way to Javier Saviola who did well to volley into the top corner from the center of the box.
Real took the lead for good in the 59th minute, when a diving Onyewu suffered some misfortune. The American attempted to intercept a pass, but inadvertently tapped it to a wide open Xabier Prieto who deftly dribbled around the diving Caballero and tapped it home to seal the victory for the visitors.
Highly touted Isco had a golden chance to tie the game when he found himself alone versus Sociedad keeper Claudio Andres Bravo Munoz, who incredibly stopped his shot with his boots while on a full stretch.
Malaga next face Osasuna on the road and will attempt to rebound and remain in the Spanish top four.
Racing Santander 1 - 0 Girona
Carlos Bocanegra and Racing Santander were looking to take the momentum from last week's win home to Girona, where the high flying Catalonions had not lost this season. However, Girona keeper Dani Mallo was enough to continue Girona's home unbeaten run.
The only goal of the match came in the 26th minute when Santander keeper Daniel Sotres came out of net and was beaten to the ball and Carlos Acuña volleyed the ball into the open net. Bocanegra picked up a yellow card just a minute later for a hard foul.
Racing Santander had their chances in the second half. They nearly equalized on a set piece when the offside trap was beaten and a headed effort by Andrija Kaluderovic was miraculously saved by Mallo.
The best for Mallo was yet to come when he made the save of the match when Gai Yigaal Assulin was left unmarked in the middle of the box and saw his shot acrobatically saved, preserving the victory.
Santander next welcome fifth place Villareal to the El Sardinero and will look to escape the relegation zone