Valencia draw 2-2 with Real Sociedad

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Valencia went back to the top of the Spanish La Liga standings after they drew 2-2 with Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:04 IST
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Valencia went back to the top of the Spanish La Liga standings when they came from two goals behind to draw 2-2 with Real Sociedad at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia, Spain on Sunday. Real Sociedad went ahead through goals from Xavi Alonso and Valeri Karpin, before Valencia salvaged a point courtesy of a Vicente strike, and a last-minute goal from Mista. Valencia and Real Madrid both have 70 points from 33 games, but Valencia are in first place due to their superior goal difference. Valencia hosted Real Sociedad at the Mestalla stadium on Sunday, knowing that a draw would be sufficient to see them reclaim first place in the league from title rivals Real Madrid. Uneventful first half The home side had the better of an uneventful first half, and felt that they should have been awarded a penalty when Bjorn Kvarme brought down Miguel Angel Angulo in the Real Sociedad area. Referee Teixeira Vitientes did not agree. The visitors weathered the early storm and went close to taking the lead against the run of play, when Nihat Kahveci just failed to hit the target after rounding Valencia goalkeeper Jose Canizares. The match kicked into life in the second half. Valencia continued to dominate both possession and territory, but they went behind to a superb Real Sociedad goal. Midfielder Xavi Alonso intercepted a Valencia throw-in on the right flank, and thundered a powerful volley past Canizares from outside the area. Five minutes later, the visitors were two goals up. Defender Roberto Ayala brought down Oscar de Paula in the Valencia box and referee Vitientes had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot. Russian Valeri Karpin stepped up and made no mistake with the resulting spot kick. Comeback At 2-0 down with 20 minutes to play, Valencia were staring a disappointing defeat in the face, but, to their credit, they bounced back to salvage a point. First, Vicente latched onto a deep ball into the Real Sociedad box and struck a sweet left-foot shot past Alberto in the visitors' goal. That gave the home side the lift they needed, and they pushed hard for an equaliser. It took them until the 91st minute, but when it arrived, 53,000 Valencia fans voiced their approval. The ball fell to Mista on the edge of the Real Sociedad box, and the striker thumped a powerful shot onto the underside of the crossbar. The ball crossed the goal line, although Ruben Baraja was on hand to make sure with the rebound. The goal, though, was credited to Mista. The result meant that Valencia joined Real Madrid on 70 points at the top of the table, although Valencia reclaimed first position, thanks to their superior goal difference. (AP)

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