Zaragoza hold Real to a 1-1 draw

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Real Madrid were held to a 1-1 home draw by Real Zaragoza on in a game overshadowed by this week's bomb attacks in the city.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:05 IST
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Real Madrid were held to a 1-1 home draw by Real Zaragoza on in a game overshadowed by this week's bomb attacks in the city. Javier Portillo, leading Real's attack in the absence of the injured strikers Ronaldo and Raul Gonzalez, opened the scoring in the 28th minute, but Paraguayan defender Delio Toledo equalized for Zaragoza four minutes later, and that's how the match ended. Saturday's match at the Bernabeu stadium between Real Madrid and Zaragoza went a head despite the bomb attacks in the capital that killed 200 people on March 11. There was a sombre atmosphere at the stadium as the players of both sides walked on to the pitch carrying a white banner emblazoned with a black ribbon of mourning and wearing black armbands. And, as with the rest of the games in Primera Liga, it was preceded by a minute's silence in memory of the victims. Real, fielding several second-string players, took the lead just before the half hour when reserve striker Javier Portillo, who has spent most of the season on the bench deputising for Ronaldo, headed in from close range after midfielder Juanfran Torres weaved his way in from the right. But Zaragoza, who have experienced a revival under new coach Victor Munoz, winning their last three matches to pull five points clear of the relegation zone, took just four minutes to level. Madrid's defence allowed Delio Toledo freedom at the far post and the Paraguayan left back nodded Luciano Galletti's corner past goalkeeper Iker Casillas. Real coach Carlos Queiroz threw on Luis Figo and Guti early in the second half in an attempt to spice up the midfield but they were unable to help their side break down the well-drilled Zaragoza defence. Indeed, it was the visitors who came closest to grabbing all three points when they unleashed several dangerous attacks late in the game. Real keeper Iker Casillas produced a perfectly timed save to snatch the ball from the feet of midfielder Luciano Galletti after he had beaten the offside trap. Then, after Zinedine Zidane had shot wide when clear inside the area, Zaragoza put together a slick passing move 12 minutes from time, but striker Goran Drulic saw his first-time shot beat Casillas and bounce back off the post. So 1-1 it ended, the result leaving Real seven points clear of Valencia at the top of the table, but Rafa Benitez's side can cut the deficit if they win away at relegation-threatened Celta Vigo on Sunday. (AP)

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