Almeria fights back for 2-2 draw with Celta in Spain
ALMERIA, Spain (AP) — Forward Thievy Bifouma scored one goal and forced a sending off as Almeria erased a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 against Celta Vigo on Monday in a Spanish league match both sides finished with 10 men.
Almeria inched two points away from the relegation zone with three rounds remaining, while Celta remained in ninth place.
Celta dominated the first half, conceding no chances and going ahead 2-0 by halftime on goals from forward Manuel “Nolito” Agudo and striker Santi Mina.
Nolito extended his scoring streak to four straight games when he volleyed a deflected ball before it fell to the ground just inside the post in the 17th minute.
Mina doubled Celta’s lead in the 39th when he poached Jose Casado’s back pass and slotted the ball beyond goalkeeper Ruben Martinez.
But two minutes into the second half Bifouma converted the rebound of a shot Celta goalie Sergio Alvarez spilled in front of this net.
Bifouma continued to cause Celta trouble with his speed and defender Gustavo Cabral was given a straight red card in the 54th when he fouled Bifouma from behind with only Alvarez to beat.
Jonathan Zongo finished off Almeria’s best buildup of the night to level in the 68th when substitute Tomer Hemed knocked down Sebastian Dubarbier’s cross for the forward to sweep in.
But Mauro Dos Santos’ second yellow card in the 74th derailed Almeria’s push for another goal, and Celta midfielder Augusto Fernandez almost grabbed a stoppage-time winner when his header hit the post.
“After their sending off we were conformable and had chances to win,” said Almeria defender Joaquin Navarro. “We had complete control, but then our sending off let them come forward and we suffered at the end.”
Barcelona leads Real Madrid by two points at the top of the standings as the two rivals vie to dethrone Atletico Madrid, which sits in a distant third place.