Football: Ten-man Valencia overcome third-minute red card to beat Getafe in season opener

Valencia CF players celebrate after scoring against Getafe CF during the first soccer match of the Spanish LaLiga at Mestalla stadium in Valencia on Aug 13 2021.
Valencia CF players celebrate after scoring against Getafe CF during the first soccer match of the Spanish LaLiga at Mestalla stadium in Valencia on Aug 13 2021.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

MADRID (AFP, REUTERS) - Valencia recovered from a third-minute sending-off to beat Getafe 1-0 in a bruising opening game in Spain's La Liga on Friday (Aug 13).

Defender Hugo Guillamon was given a straight red for a dangerous tackle on Getafe's Serbian midfielder Nemanja Maksimovic.

After the referee consulted a video replay, it was the fastest red card in the history of Liga season openers.

The foul itself had been committed after just 39 seconds of the game.

Eight minutes after Guillamon's dismissal, Valencia were ahead.

Russian winger Denis Cheryshev was brought down in the penalty area and Carlos Soler tucked away the spot kick.

"It was not the game we wanted, because going a man down in the third minute is not the best situation," said Soler.

"Hugo is not at fault. I don't know if it was a red. These are things that happen in football and you learn from them. When he left the pitch I told him that we were going to win for him, and we achieved that."

It was a winning start for new coach Pepe Bordalas, against the side he left at the end of last season to replace the sacked Javi Gracia.

Valencia goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili, on loan from Dinamo Tbilisi, pulled off two fine saves late in the game to deny Getafe an equalising goal.

Also, Uruguayan Mauro Arambarri rattled the woodwork as the visitors piled on the pressure but Valencia held on with some rugged defending in the closing stages.

Getafe's misery was completed when Erick Cabaco was sent off for a second yellow card in the 76th minute.

Real Madrid visit Alaves in Saturday's stand-out fixture, while Barcelona start life without Lionel Messi at home to Real Sociedad on Sunday and champions Atletico Madrid get their title defence under way at Celta Vigo.