MADRID: It was a night to remember for Sevilla winger Lucas Ocampos in La Liga on Monday.

The Argentine struck the decisive goal early in the second half and pulled off a last-gasp save while replacing his team’s injured goalkeeper as his side beat Eibar 1-0 on Monday in La Liga to home in on a return to the Champions League.

Ocampos broke the deadlock in the 56th minute by sliding in at the far post to bundle in a cross from Jesus Navas, and then pulled on a goalkeeper’s jersey for the final minutes after keeper Tomas Vaclik was carried off on a stretcher deep into added time.

Coach Julen Lopetegui had made all five of the permitted substitutes so could not bring on a reserve keeper but Ocampos proved up to the task by repelling a shot from Eibar keeper Marko Dmitrovic in the 11th minute of added time.

Dmitrovic had come up from his area to contest a late corner and almost snatched an equaliser but fired straight at Ocampos, who spread his arms to turn the shot away.

I like to play in goal in training but I never imagined I would end up playing in goal in a match in the last few minutes but I’m always ready to help the team in any position,” Ocampos said. Before I went in goal the goalkeeping coach told me not to go far from the goal and the ball came towards me, I was able to push it away and we got the three points.”

The victory gave fourth-placed Sevilla a six-point cushion over fifth-placed Villarreal with four games remaining. Eibar meanwhile remain in danger of relegation, occupying the final spot outside the bottom three with a six-point lead over 18th-placed Real Mallorca.

Earlier in the evening Real Sociedad’s poor run since the restart continued with a 1-1 draw at Levante, meaning they have dropped from the top four to seventh.

Sociedad took the lead against Levante through Sweden’s Alexander Isak after 12 minutes, but were pegged back on 16 by Jos Luis Morales from a speculative cross-shot. Levante stayed 12th.

Published in Dawn, July 8th, 2020