Elche 1 : 0 Levante - Elche climb out of bottom three

Posted Monday, January 19, 2015 by PA

Elche moved out of the relegation zone after narrowly beating fellow strugglers Levante 1-0 after the visitors had to play the majority of the game with 10 men.

Jonathas de Jesus put the hosts in front shortly after David Navarro had been sent off and then both sides missed penalties either side of half-time, and Elche hung on for a vital victory.

Fran Escriba's side began the match bottom of the Primera Division but climbed up to 16th place after this victory, which follows last weekend's triumph at Athletic Bilbao.

Levante meanwhile slip into the bottom three and have now gone seven games without a league win.

The game was shaped by referee Carlos Velasco Carballo's decision to show a red card to Navarro with just six minutes on the clock when the defender struck Sergio Pelegrin in the face as the two players contested a ball.

Faycal Fajr nearly took advantage from the resulting free-kick but Diego Marino was able to save from the Frenchman. And it was not long before a goal did arrive - Aaron Niguez curled a cross into the box Jonathas rose highest to head the ball into the far corner.

Elche were then handed an opportunity to virtually kill the game off as they were awarded a penalty in the 19th minute for a questionable foul by Loukas Vyntra on Jonathas.

But with usual penalty taker David Lomban suspended, Fajr stepped up to take the penalty and was denied by the right hand of Marino.

Levante coped admirably despite their numerical disadvantage and could have equalised before the break through Victor Casadesus, and in the second half Jose Luis Morales somehow blasted wide as he gobbled up a loose ball on the edge of the area.

Lucas Alcaraz's side were then handed the perfect way back into the game with 20 minutes to go when Velasco Carballo stunned the Martinez Valero stadium by awarding a penalty for a shove by Damian Surez on Casadesus.

But Przemyslaw Tyton guessed right and got in the way of Ruben's spot kick to preserve Elche's lead.

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