Sunday 18 February 2018

Real Betis return to Spanish top flight

Real Betis' Ruben Castro scored twice in their 3-0 victory over Alcorcon which secured their return to Spain’s first division
Real Betis' Ruben Castro scored twice in their 3-0 victory over Alcorcon which secured their return to Spain’s first division

Real Betis sealed their return to Spain’s first division after a one-year absence with a 3-0 victory over Alcorcon yesterday.

Striker Ruben Castro scored twice in the 21st and 52nd minutes before forward Jorge Molina added a third goal in the 65th for the Seville-based side.

With the win, Betis sealed a top-two finish in the second division and a direct promotion to the top flight.

The third team to go up will come from a play-off from the third- to sixth-place finishers.

Eibar, Almeria and Cordoba were relegated to the second division.

In France, Monaco will play in the Champions League third qualifying round next season after securing third place in Ligue 1 with a 1-0 win at Lorient in the final round of matches.

Monaco, who reached the quarter-finals of Europe’s premier club competition this season, finished with 71 points.

Paris Saint-Germain, who were crowned champions last weekend, celebrated in front of their home crowd with a 3-2 win over Stade de Reims.

Over in Russia FC Krasnodar boosted its bid to qualify for the Champions League for the first time ever with a 2-1 home win over FC Rostov.

That result returns Krasnodar to the second of Russia’s two Champions League spots and piles pressure on third-placed CSKA Moscow, which faces a tricky test against Rubin Kazan today.

On-loan midfielder Roman Shirokov’s 10th-minute strike gave Krasnodar the lead and Wanderson doubled the advantage on 33 minutes.

Rostov gained a foothold when Vitaly Dyakov scored with 15 minutes of the game remaining, but Krasnodar saw out the win.

Krasnodar is three points ahead of CSKA, which has a game in hand. If the two finish level on points, CSKA will take the Champions League spot due to a higher number of wins.

Meanwhile, Sevilla can lift the Europa League trophy for a record fourth time when they play Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in the final in Warsaw on Wednesday, but for their midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak (25)it promises to be an even more special occasion.

The Poland international is hoping to become the first player from his country to win a European club competition on home soil.

“It’s going to be a unique game for me as a Pole,” Krychowiak enthused.

“This is my first season here and I’ll have the opportunity to play in Sevilla’s shirt in front of the Polish fans at the National Stadium. I’m as proud of this achievement as it’s possible to be.”

Indo Sport

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