Almeida strike sees Valencia beat Osasuna after late missed penalty

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Almeida strike sees Valencia beat Osasuna after late missed penalty

Andre Almeida celebrates his goal with the architect Diego Lopez
Andre Almeida celebrates his goal with the architect Diego LopezAFP
Ante Budimir’s stoppage-time penalty blunder allowed Valencia to move within three points of Real Sociedad in the final European spot in LaLiga, and all but ended Osasuna’s hopes of back-to-back continental competition in the process with a 1-0 win at the Estadio El Sadar.

It was a quiet opening quarter hour until Osasuna goalkeeper Sergio Herrera presented Valencia with a golden opportunity. That opportunity fell to the usually reliable Hugo Duro after Herrera got caught in no-man’s-land outside the box.

However, with the goal at his mercy and a teammate to his left, he dawdled and was denied by a last-ditch challenge from Jorge Herrando.

Herrando’s heroics did not keep the game scoreless for long though as, on 18 minutes, Andre Almeida arrowed a shot from the right corner of the box across goal and into the far corner.

This purple patch for Los Ches almost yielded a second just moments later but Herrera beat away Jesus Vazquez’s close-range effort.

The hosts took a while to click into gear but almost levelled 10 minutes before the break when a well-worked corner routine found Moi Gómez on the edge of the box and his deflected effort struck the post with Giorgi Mamardashvili wrong-footed in the Valencia goal.

Hugo Duro and Osasuna’s Budimir came into this game with 30 league goals between them this season but, with the Valencia hitman having wasted a good chance in the first half, the Croatian then spurned a gilt-edged chance to draw the hosts level just after the hour.

Ruben García’s cross from the right was inch perfect and Budimir peeled away from his marker but could only get his knee to it from six yards and couldn’t trouble Mamardashvili.

Los Rojillos dominated possession throughout the second period and Herrando’s late header clipped the crossbar as Valencia clung on.

However, Budimir was given a late chance to level from the spot after he was fouled by Hugo Guillamon.

Perhaps the lengthy VAR check impacted his concentration as his spot kick was scuffed and trickled straight into the grateful gloves of Mamardashvili as the men in white hone in on a first European campaign since 2019/20.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Andre Almeida (Valencia)

Osasuna - Valencia player ratings
Osasuna - Valencia player ratingsFlashscore

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