Deportivo La Coruna held 2-2 by Real Betis

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Deportivo La Coruna were held to a 2-2 draw by Real Betis in a Spanish Primera Liga match on Sunday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:06 IST
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Deportivo La Coruna's already slim hopes of landing the Spanish Primera Liga title appear to have disappeared after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Real Betis on Sunday. 'Depor' went two goals up within the first 17 minutes. But Javier Irureta's men rapidly lost their way - and seemed to have their minds on Wednesday's Champions League fixture with AC Milan. Somehow, Deportivo La Coruna have to overturn a 4-1 first leg deficit when they meet AC Milan in the second leg of their Champions' League quarter-final on Wednesday. An impressive performance at the Riazor Stadium against Real Betis in La Liga on Sunday might have helped improve their confidence. Both teams have struggled in recent weeks - but it was the visiting Seville team who came nearest to opening the scoring, Washington Tais hammering the woodwork in the opening minutes. Within a short space of time though, the visitors were in deep trouble. Alberto Luque's eighth league goal of the season in the 14th minute put 'Depor' ahead - goalkeeper Antonio Prats seeming to dive over the ball. And three minutes later, Victor made it two-nil after Aldo Duscher's pass shredded the visitor's defence. In the 32nd minute, Betis struck back. Brazilian midfielder Marcos dos Santos Assuncao's direct free-kick left Jose Francisco Molina stranded. After that sparkling half hour, the match rapidly descended into rank mediocrity. The tedium lasted well into the second half with only the odd infrequent forward foray breaking the monotony of meaningless midfield meandering. But in the 72nd minute, Betis fashioned an equaliser. Assuncao had been substituted only a few minutes previously. As Zarandona Benjamin showed, the Brazilian doesn't have a monopoly on penetrating free-kicks. Benjamin's effort didn't go in - the rebound presented Dani with an easy opportunity to put his side level though. It is hard to find words to adequately describe how disjointed, dysfunctional and toothless Deportivo were after the break. The Uruguayan Tais marred his good work with a dismissal late foul, but Betis deserved at least a draw. It finished 2-2 - a result which means that with just seven games left until the end of the season, the Galicians trail leaders Real Madrid by 10 points. And as far as this season's Champions League aspirations go - on this evidence, Milan certainly won't have any problems on Wednesday. (AP)

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