Real Betis, Sevilla draw 1-1

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Real Betis and Sevilla drew 1-1 at the local derby in La Liga.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:05 IST
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Real Betis and Sevilla, who are both pushing hard for places in Europe next season, met in a local derby in La Liga. Betis, who've taken 12 points from their last five games to revive their hopes of a place in Europe, were presented with a great chance to take the lead when Daniel Alves handled the ball in the area from a corner in the first minute. Former Barcelona striker Alfonso sent Sevilla goalkeeper Esteban the wrong way with his spot kick to put his side ahead while many fans were still taking their seats. Esteban rescued his side with a superb save, diving a full stretch to turn Benjamin's free kick onto the bar and then diving on the loose ball and making sure it didn't cross the line. The replay showed the referee made the correct decision in not awarding a goal. Sevilla, who've also been in excellent form with three successive league wins, rode their luck and drew level in the 27th minute through a piece of vision by a defender. Antonio Prats saved from Antonito following a free kick and Javi Navarro showed the composure of a seasoned striker to knock the rebound into the net. Sevilla were reduced to 10 men on 37 minutes when Antonito was shown a second yellow card and sent off following a tackle on Juanito. The second half deteriorated into a dire 45 minutes of football and it was a relief, even for the most partisan of fans, when the referee blew the final whistle and the honours, in evenly contested derby, were shared. The result meant Betis, who have not beaten their neighbours in the last seven years, moved up one place to sixth in the table, while Sevilla are just two points behind in ninth. (AP)

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