Bilbao (Spain), April 28 (IANS) Athletic Club Bilbao climbed back into sixth place in the Spanish football league standings with a 2-1 victory over a scrappy Real Betis side.
Their 10th win in 15 matches in front of more than 34,000 fans at the San Mames Stadium here on Thursday brings Bilbao to 59 points, one more than Real Sociedad and just one fewer than fifth-place Villarreal CF in the scramble for Europa League slots, reports Efe news agency.
Betis got off to the better start in a choppy but entertaining first half that saw chances for both sides.
The hosts were dominant after the re-start and their sustained assault on the Betis goal delivered results in the 53rd minute, when Aritz Aduriz scored from the spot after being fouled by Aissa Mandi.
Athletic doubled their advantage at the one-hour mark on a header by Iker Muniain.
Three minutes later, however, Ruben Castro pulled one back for Betis, sparking a final 20 minutes of end-to-end action.