Cádiz draws 1-1 at Real Betis with fans back in stands

National Sports

SEVILLE, Spain (AP)Alvaro Negredo’s retaken penalty and Jeremias Ledesma’s key save saw Cadiz secure a 1-1 draw at Real Betis in the Spanish league on Friday.

The match was the first with fans at Seville’s Benito Villamarin Stadium since the start of pandemic restrictions in March 2020. Some 23,000 spectators were allowed to attend the match, 40% of capacity as set by health authorities.

Negredo put the visitors ahead in the 11th minute with a penalty thanks to the watchful eyes of the referee, who had ordered the spot kick to be repeated.

Goalkeeper Rui Silva saved Negredo’s first penalty but had both feet off the line. The veteran striker did not waste his chance to make up for the miss.

”My first kick was horrible and he made a good save,” Negredo said. ”But on the second try I had a clearer idea of what I wanted and put it in. Any time we take points on the road it is a good result.”

Betis equalized in the 22nd when Juanmi Jimenez headed home from a corner kick taken by Nabil Fekir, who caused Cadiz trouble throughout the match with his speed and footwork.

Fekir hit the post from outside the area in the 37th, a few minutes after Cadiz’s Tomas Alarcon had also found the woodwork on a counterattack.

Another incursion into the area by Fekir almost led to a go-ahead goal by Betis when his deflected shot fell to Sergio Canales close to the net, only for Canales to send his effort high.

”I had a chance but didn’t finish it off,” Canales said. ”It was a clear opportunity that could have decided the match.”

Ledesma protected the point when he blocked a shot by Joaquin Sanchez with one minute to play after another inspired run by Fekir left the substitute free in the box.

It was a second straight draw for both sides to start the league season.

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