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Alaves level late to keep Girona sweating on second spot in LaLiga

Jon Guridi, left, scored twice on the night for Alaves
Jon Guridi, left, scored twice on the night for AlavesAFP
Jon Guridi headed home in the 100th minute to salvage a last-gasp share of the spoils for Alaves in a 2-2 draw with Girona at the Mendizorroza Stadium.

Despite celebrating late into the night upon securing their maiden UEFA Champions League qualification with a 4-2 victory over Barcelona, there seemed to be no hangovers in Girona’s camp as Eric García headed home Viktor Tsyhankov’s corner after only four minutes.

However, the visitors’ lead lasted only eight minutes, with Guridi firing Giuliano Simeone’s pinpoint pass past Paulo Gazzaniga. Carlos Vicente should have completed the turnaround shortly after, but the Spaniard could only direct his effort straight at Girona’s relieved goalkeeper.

Although Alavés had enjoyed a spell of dominance, Girona restored their advantage. After Jesus Owono, on his first start of the campaign, stuck out an instinctive leg to emerge victorious in his one-on-one battle with Savio, there was nothing the shot-stopper could do to prevent Míchel’s side from retaining their lead in the 44th minute.

In fact, Yangel Herrera’s thunderous strike - off the back of Artem Dovbyk’s exquisite backheel - nearly broke the back of the net.

Alaves - Girona match stats
Alaves - Girona match statsOpta by StatsPerform

On course to register their first-ever LaLiga double over Alaves, Girona nearly gave themselves extra breathing space twice in quick succession almost immediately from the restart.

First, Ivan Martín’s effort was acrobatically pushed away from danger by Owono before the division’s leading scorer, Dovbyk, saw his strike well-saved by the leg of the Equatoguinean.

Following a period of inactivity in front of goal, during which Martin’s wayward drive was the only significant effort, it appeared that Girona had done enough to consolidate second position in the LaLiga standings. However, Guridi had other ideas as he popped up with virtually no time left on the clock to head past Gazzaniga from close range.

The late drama means Girona have only emerged victorious in two of their previous 14 away encounters with Alaves across all competitions, while Alaves still remain in the battle to secure their first top-half finish in seven years, although they travel to champions Real Madrid in midweek.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Jon Guridi (Alaves)

Check out all the match stats with Flashscore.

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