Postiga pinches the points
Helder Postiga left it late to earn Real Zaragoza a 2-1 win over 10-man Espanyol at the El Prat.
Last Updated: 26/08/12 12:37am
Helder Postiga left it late to earn Real Zaragoza a first win of the Primera Division season, sinking 10-man Espanyol at the El Prat.
In a bad-tempered encounter which saw eight players booked, Alvaro Vazquez lit the touchpaper by firing the hosts ahead with a screamer just before half-time.
Juan Albin received his marching orders for a second booking after the interval and Antonio Apono levelled the tie from the penalty spot.
A constant menace in the second half, Postiga chipped away at Espanyol's resolve and eventually got his reward two minutes from time to earn Real their first points of the season.
Despite a cagey start, Raul Rodriguez almost opened the scoring in the 17th minute with a header that required a touch more accuracy.
Albin then picked out Hector Moreno in good space in the 34th minute but the Mexican headed past the near post.
Moreno headed over the crossbar next as Espanyol pressed on, with the breakthrough coming in sensational fashion in the 43rd minute.
Mubarak Wakaso picked out Vazquez's run, the young striker drilling home from 20 yards without breaking stride.
Following the restart, Portugal international Postiga forced Cristian Alvarez to tip a daisycutter around the post before Los Blanquillos were handed the opportunity to level.
Albin, already booked for a challenge on Jose Mari in the first half, handled in the area in the 50th minute and saw his second yellow card converted to red.
Apono dutifully tucked the resulting spot-kick into the bottom corner and well out of the reach of the sprawling Alvarez.
Raul Goni and Postiga were denied in quick succession with Zaragoza eager to make their extra man count.
But the resolute Alvarez stood tall and had to deny the Portuguese again on the hour mark as he nicked in on goal.
Tackles continued to fly in and Adam Pinter joined Goni in the book for unsporting behaviour.
The storm abated briefly and Los Periquitos began to tease out openings of their own once again, Javi Lopez drilling a speculative shot just over the bar.
A fractious final 10 minutes saw three players booked, Rodriguez and Paco Montanes picking up cards with Espanyol's Rodriguez penalised for an overzealous challenge on Carlos Aranda.
Postiga might have remonstrated with himself as he directed a free header harmlessly wide but three minutes later he was celebrating with Zaragoza's fans after slotting home the winner from six yards.
For Espanyol, though, it was a second consecutive defeat, with a tricky trip to Levante next on the agenda.