Coke's goal in the final minutes saw nine-man Levante draw 2-2 with Girona in the opening contest of LaLiga match-day 18. The two clubs began and ended the day tied on points at 23, but Girona are in 8th place, one ahead of Levante, by virtue of better goal difference, reports Efe news. With both sides on a poor run of form, neither seemed interested in taking risks. The hosts' best opportunity of the first half came in the 6th minute on Friday night, when Jose Luis Nogales Morales forced Girona goalkeeper Bono to make a stop.
Girona opened the scoring in the 32nd minute as Alex Granell lofted a free kick into the box to Portu, who chipped the ball over Levante keeper Oier Olazabal to make it 1-0 for the visitors. The Catalan side could have doubled their advantage a few minutes later, but Portu's pass failed to reach an unmarked Cristhian Stuani in the area. Levante started the second half energized and Bono thwarted several tries in quick succession before Morales finally broke through in the 58th minute to level the match at 1-1.
Not wanting to settle for just a point, Levante coach Paco Lopez substituted forward Emmanuel Boateng for midfielder Nikola Vukcevic to sharpen the attack. But in the 68th minute, Sergio Postigo tackled Stuani just outside the area and was sent off with a second yellow card and Aleix Garcia scored on the ensuing free kick to put Girona ahead 2-1. Even after going down a man, the hosts flew forward and got their reward in the 85th minute with Coke's goal.
(With inputs from agencies.)