RECAP: SPORTING 1 - 1 VILLARREAL
Jozy Altidore saw his first significant minutes in La Liga action this year as Villarreal barely salvaged a splitting of the points versus Sporting Gijon at Estadio El Molinon on Sunday evening.
Altidore came on for midfielder Cani in the 71st minute and helped the Yellow Submarine force a last gasp draw.
The match was full of controversey with its fare share of penalties and a second yellow card for Gonzalo that reduced Villarreal to ten men in the latter stages of the match.
The lack of scoring chances in the first half perhaps contributed to the frustration felt by both teams that later surfaced in the second half.
Soon enough, players on both sides of the ball grew more disenchanted with the referee's decisions or lack there of until a call in the 69th minute changed the face of the match.
Gonzalo was whistled for a hand ball in the area on a cross by Gaston Sangoy which Diego Castro easily converted to put the Asturians ahead.
Altidore entered the match just minutes later in hopes of levelling things for the visitors, but that task became taller five minutes later when Gonzalo was given his walking papers for a reckless foul on David Barral.
However in his 20 plus minutes on the field, the US international was active making a few good runs and earning a corner kick.
Villarreal coach Juan Carlos Garrido's men continued pushing into second half stoppage time and finally saw their efforts rewarded in the 93rd minute when New Jersey-born Giuseppe Rossi was taken down in the area by the Sporting defense.
The Italian-American stepped to the spot and cooly converted the kick amid the enraged fans in Gijon who believed their home team had been robbed of the full three points.
Altidore and company will next turn their attention to the Europa League when they head to Greece on Thursday to take on PAOK Salónica.