Fluke equalizer gives Espanyol 1-1 draw at Mallorca

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — An intended cross that ended up sailing directly into the goal earned Espanyol a 1-1 draw at Mallorca, which a player and coach Javier Aguirre sent off with red cards in the closing moments Friday.

Vedat Muriqi scored his team-high sixth goal in 12 rounds of the Spanish league to give Mallorca the lead in the 48th minute. The Kosovo striker knocked in a pass from Giovanni González after he had latched on to a long ball behind the defense.

Mallorca had been pressing for a second goal when Espanyol substitute José Lazo leveled in fluke fashion in the 70th. The defender’s cross from the left flank ended up floating over goalkeeper Predrag Rajković and landing inside the far post.

“I had a little bit of luck,” Lazo said. “But in the end you have to put the ball into the box and see if you get lucky. I'm happy for the goal and happy for the point.”

Both defender Pablo Maffeo and Aguirre were shown red cards in the final minutes. Maffeo was apparently penalized for protesting what he had considered a penalty against a Mallorca player.

Aguirre said he believed that he was sent off because he had strayed outside the limits of the coaching area.

“I had not said anything (to the referee) and was calm,” the Mexican coach said. “I was surprised (by the sending off) but I didn’t realize that I was outside the coaching area and that can be punished with a yellow or red card, and he chose red.”

Mallorca remained in 12th place with Espanyol two points behind in 13th.

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The Associated Press