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Elche 2-1 Espanyol

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EspanyolEspanyol
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Nine-man Elche moved off the foot of the Primera Division table by claiming their first win in seven matches as Jonathas' double helped them to a 2-1 victory over Espanyol.

Jonathas scored either side of half-time although the strugglers made life difficult for themselves as Garry Rodrigues and Domingo Cisma were dismissed to give Espanyol hope.

Although Christian Stuani was able to set up a frantic finale, Fran Escriba's men were able to hang on for just their second win of the season which moves them out of the bottom three.

The home side had lost five of their previous six matches but they started confidently and only a fine save from Espanyol goalkeeper Francisco Casilla prevented Jonathas from opening the scoring in the opening few minutes.

At the other end, Manu Herrera had to be alert to keep out efforts from Stuani and Sergio Garcia.

They proved to be vital stops as Jonathas gave Elche a 19th-minute lead, heading powerfully past Casilla from Cristian Herrera's cross.

Manu Herrera then did well to save twice from Stuani although Elche were unfortunate not to double their lead in the opening seconds of the second half as Rodrigues' 25-yard free-kick cannoned off the bar.

Yet they did not have to wait much longer for their second and it was once again Jonathas who found the back of the net, the Brazilian latching on to Victor Rodriguez's pass before firing home in the 52nd minute.

The 25-year-old was denied a hat-trick when his strike from the edge of the area was excellently blocked by Casilla while Elche's hopes of victory were undermined when Rodrigues picked up his second booking for fouling Jose Canas in the 76th minute.

The hosts were then down to nine men just nine minutes later when it was adjudged Cisma had handled in the area to earn his second yellow card of the afternoon.

Stuani was finally able to put the ball past Manu Herrera from the resulting spot-kick, thumping the ball high into the top corner to leave the Elche stopper with little chance.

Yet the Catalan side failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage and it was Elche who came closest to scoring again, with Pedro Mosquera being denied by a post in added time.

ends

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