Villarreal needed a 94th-minute winner to overcome Girona and stay within touching distance of a place in next season's UEFA Champions League
Super Eagles forward Samuel Chukwueze was suppressed for the 62 minutes he was on the pitch as Villarreal secured an extra-time win against Girona in LaLiga to keep their Champions League hopes alive.
The Yellow Submarine had to count on a dramatic 94th-minute winner from substitute Gerard Moreno, who scored deep into extra time to give Villarreal all three points and keep them within two points of Real Sociedad in fourth place.
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Villarreal had to dig deep for the win after losing their initial 1-0 lead to a David López equaliser in the first half.
How it happened
Villarreal needed a win against Girona to stay in touch with Real Sociedad, who take on Barcelona later today, and they came out firing on all cylinders against the Gironistes.
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The Yellow Submarine scored with their second shot on goal after only nine minutes, as Yeremy Pino profited from a pass by in-form Senegalese forward Nicolas Jackson to score a superb far-post opener.
Girona were unwilling to lay down and be rolled over in their own stadium, and they pressed relentlessly for an equaliser drawing level just before the half-hour mark as David López finished off a well-worked set-piece routine to make it 1-1.
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The teams went into the halftime break on level terms and played out what was a drab second half for the most part.
Girona came close to a winner midway through the second half, but Christian Stuani was adjudged to have been offside despite squeezing the ball into the back of the net.
Neither side was able to create any clear-cut scoring opportunities, and the game appeared to be headed for a 1-1 draw, until Gerard Moreno’s injury-time winner.
After the hour mark, Moreno came on as a substitute for Chukwueze and proved manager Quique Setien right when he profited from another brilliant cross from Jackson to steal all three points at the death.
The win sees Villarreal sit just two points below Real Sociedad in the race for the Champions League places with only three game weeks left in the LaLiga season.
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