Real Mallorca kept alive their hopes of European football next season with a narrow win over La Liga strugglers Rayo Vallecano. Gonzalo Castro was the match winner with a goal in the 62nd minute, while a fifth straight defeat left the visitors nervously looking over their shoulders. Rayo, who lost 7-0 to Barcelona at the weekend, began brightly and Miguel Michu was the first to threaten Dudu Aouate’s goal with a shot wide in the 17th minute. And the visitors almost took the lead five minutes later, Raul Tamudo letting fly from centre of the penalty area but seeing his effort come back off a post.
Jose Movilla followed up from just outside the box but could not keep his shot on target, while at the other end Emilio Nsue had Mallorca’s first effort but that, too, went wide. Rayo continued to offer the greater threat, though, and in the 34th minute Aouate parried a shot from Tamudo before the keeper then kept out Mikel Labaka from close range. Mallorca were under the cosh but the visitors could not take advantage, and the first half ended goalless after Jose Manuel Casado saw a shot blocked by Michael Pereira and Tamudo missed with a close-range header. Mallorca boss Joaquin Caparros responded by sending on midfielder Alejandro Alfaro for striker Victor Casadesus and the hosts began to take control read detail Trans7.
Castro almost scored from a 25-yard free-kick that was pushed around the post by David Cobeno in the 59th minute, but he had to wait only three minutes to break the deadlock. Tomas Pina played in Castro on the left of the area and he drilled his shot into the bottom corner, while the same player came closest to adding a second with a close-range shot just past the post in the 86th minute.