Cadiz wins at Eibar to build on great return to Spanish league

EIBAR, Spain — Cadiz won at Eibar 2-0 to extend its impressive return to the Spanish league on Friday after 14 years in the lower divisions.

Cadiz moved into second place in the standings behind leader Real Sociedad on goal difference. The team from southern Spain is undefeated in five rounds and has won all four of its matches on the road. That includes a 1-0 win at defending champion Real Madrid.

“The league lead? It means we are close to our objective (of avoiding relegation). We can’t think beyond that,” goal-scorer Alvaro Negredo said. “These points are great to have now because we know that bad stretches will come.”

Coached by Alvaro Cervera, the team has climbed from the third division in 2015-16 to making a remarkable return to the top-flight with a side featuring veteran players doing their best to prolong their careers. Besides former Sevilla and Manchester City striker Negredo, the squad includes former Atletico Madrid midfielder Augusto Fernandez, and veterans Alex Fernandez, Juan Cala, and Jose Martin.

Eibar started well, but Cadiz twice stole the ball from Eibar midfielder Pape Diop to score from quick attacks to decide the match before halftime.

Negredo headed in a cross by Alfonso Espino after Martin dispossessed Diop in the 36th. Diop was the victim of another tackle by Anthony Lozano three minutes later, which sparked an attack capped by Salvi Sanchez’s goal.

Eibar’s Kike Garcia came close to pulling one back moments later after Bryan Gil set him up, only for a defender to clear his strike from the goal-line.

That was the last chance the hosts had before Cadiz locked down its area.

“Once we get ahead, we are tough to beat,” Negredo said. “We defend very well.”

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