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Last-minute heroics preserve Villarreal's 2-1 win at Espanyol

BARCELONA, Spain -- Goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo saved a stoppage-time penalty to preserve Villarreal's 2-1 victory at Espanyol in the Spanish league on Monday.

Asenjo dove correctly to his right to deny Sergio Garcia's spot kick after Villarreal defender Gabriel Armando handled inside the area.

Villarreal led 2-0 by the 50th minute at Cornella El-Prat Stadium, starting with teenage midfielder Matias Nahuel picking out Moises Gomez's run into the area before Jeremy Perbet doubled the advantage by scoring from a through ball into the area.

Espanyol cut the advantage in half in the 77th after Jhon Cordoba powered home a low shot, but Asenjo's late heroics ensured Villarreal kept pace with fourth-place Athletic Bilbao for the league's last Champions League qualifying place.

Villarreal trails Athletic by four points. Espanyol stayed 10th.

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Espanyol's forward Sergio Garcia, left, vies with Villarreal's Slovenian defender Bojan Jokic, right, during the Spanish league soccer match RCD Espanyol vs. Villarreal CF on Monday, Feb. 24. (AFP)

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