Valencia 1-1 Real Sociedad: Last minute penalty earns La Real a point
Valencia held at home by Real Sociedad (Getty Images/Manuel Queimadelos Alonso)

Valencia 1-1 Real Sociedad: Last minute penalty earns La Real a point

Stalemate at Mestalla in season opener as La Real level late on

Kieran Quaile

Valencia were held to a 1-1 draw by Real Sociedad on Saturday evening at Mestalla. 

The home side took the lead on 59 minutes when striker Kevin Gameiro poked home from close range. 

La Real remained in the game and got a deserved equaliser in the 101st minute, when midfielder Mikel Oyarzabal slotted home from the penalty spot, sending Jasper Cillessen the wrong way. 

Story of the game

Both sides created chances early on, Goncalo Guedes shot from distance for Los Che but his effort was tipped over by goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya.

At the other end, Adnan Januzaj had his shot from 25 yards saved by Cillessen.  

Gameiro opened the scoring just before the hour-mark and Valencia should have doubled their lead soon after when striker Rodrigo Moreno missed an open goal from 20 yards, with La Real's defence at sixes and sevens. 

In the 95th minute, Gameiro had the opportunity to make it 2-0 from the penalty spot after Denis Cheryshev was fouled but his spot-kick was ballooned over the bar; a miss that would come back to haunt the Frenchman.

The all-important equaliser came from the penalty spot as playmaker Mikel Oyarzabal coolly converted in front of the away fans.

The Basques were awarded the penalty after Valencia’s Francis Coquelin handled the ball inside the box and received a red card for his efforts.

Takeaways from the match

La Real solid in their opening game

Real Sociedad look like a well-balanced side and will be expected to compete for a European place this season. A point away at Mestalla will be seen as a strong start to the season and something to build on. 

Asier Illarramendi controlled the midfield, sitting in front of the back four and breaking up the play. 

Martin Odegaard lively in his first match

Real Madrid loanee Martin Odegaard showed his class throughout, working between the lines and was a constant threat to Valencia’s back four.

Head coach Imanol Alguacil will be pleased with the 20-year-old's performance and will be hoping for similar displays going forward.  

Kevin Gameiro opens his account 

Although the number nine missed a vital penalty that would have given Valencia the three points, Kevin Gameiro got off to a scoring start and his goals will be necessary if Valencia are to compete for a top-four finish. 

Man of the match

Martin Odegaard operated in the number 10 role for La Real and was a constant threat to Valencia’s defence. The Norwegian produced some moments of class in his first appearance for his new team, operating in a free role that will no doubt suit him this season, a key season for his development.