Football: Own goal hands Gary Neville's Valencia point at Eibar to salvage draw

Eibar's striker Borja Gonzalez (left) duels for the ball with Valencia CF's Tunisian Aymen Abdennour (right) during their Spanish Liga Primera Division football match Sunday.
Eibar's striker Borja Gonzalez (left) duels for the ball with Valencia CF's Tunisian Aymen Abdennour (right) during their Spanish Liga Primera Division football match Sunday.PHOTO: EPA

MADRID (AFP) - A late own goal salvaged a point for Valencia in Gary Neville's first taste of La Liga action on Sunday as Los Che battled back with 10 men to draw 1-1 at Eibar.

Sergi Enrich deservedly opened the scoring for Eibar with the last kick of the first half.

However, the turning point came midway through the second period when Valencia goalkeeper Jaume Domenech saved Saul Berjon's penalty after Lucas Orban had been very harshly sent off for supposedly elbowing Dani Garcia.

And Valencia got the slice of luck they needed when David Junca turned the ball into his own net five minutes from time.

A point leaves Valencia seven points off the top four in eighth.

Neville had suffered a nightmare debut as a head coach in midweek as Valencia were dumped out of the Champions League in a defeat to Lyon, and the former Manchester United defender made four changes for the trip to the Basque country.

However, his decision to rest Jose Luis Gaya in favour of Orban backfired as the Argentine was routinely beaten by Eibar winger Keko before seeing red just after the hour mark.

Valencia were lucky to escape conceding a penalty on 13 minutes when Keko's first dangerous delivery was met by Borja Baston at the near post and deflected just wide by the hand of Shkodran Mustafi.

Moments later, Domenech made an incredible save to turn Enrich's effort onto the post from point-blank range from another Keko cross.

Neville was given a warning by the fourth official as his frustrations boiled over midway through the half with Valencia unable to make any impact going forward.

And Eibar deservedly took the lead when this time Ander Capa found space down the right and his low cross was bundled home by Enrich for his fourth goal of the season.

Valencia's hopes of a point looked to have gone when Orban was amazingly sent off for contesting a routine high ball with Garcia and, to compound the mistake, referee Jose Luis Gonzalez also pointed to the spot.

However, Domenech flew to his right to save his second penalty of the season and give his side a lifeline.

It was one which the visitors took advantage of with some good fortune as Andre Gomes burrowed into the box and Junca turned the ball into his own net as he tried to dispossess the Portuguese midfielder.

Neville's men could even have taken all three points at the death as Ivan Ramis was sent off for upending Paco Alcacer as the Spanish international broke clear on goal and Alcacer fired the resulting free-kick inches wide.