A late goal by Angolan striker Manucho gave Rayo Vallecano a 1-0 victory over hosts Real Sociedad in the Spanish La Liga.
Rayo were true to their promise of playing an open, attacking style, offering plenty of space for Real Sociedad to operate but also put constant pressure on the hosts’ Argentine goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli.
Manucho struck fear into the home crowd every time he had the ball at his feet, although Sociedad’s supporters also had reason to believe that one of their team’s forays into Rayo territory would open the scoring at Anoeta stadium.
The visitors had two excellent chances to score shortly before halftime, one of them a shot by Roberto Trashorras that grazed the crossbar after being deflected by Esteban Granero.
The other came in the 43rd minute, when Manucho seemingly could have knocked the ball into the back of the net but opted to gather it and allow a defender to knock it away.
In the second half, Real Sociedad had the mentality to score but time and again lacked the execution close to Rayo’s goal.
The match appeared to be headed for a scoreless draw but a spectacular header in the 80th minute by Manucho, who was assisted by Trashorras on a corner kick, gave Sociedad keeper no chance.
The loss was Sociedad’s first at home since David Moyes, who coached Manchester United last season, took over as the team’s manager in November.
But the San Sebastian-based club also has only won two matches since the Scotsman took the helm.