- Associated Press - Monday, February 9, 2015

MADRID (AP) - Goals by Damian Suarez and Garry Mendes lifted Elche from the relegation zone with a 2-0 win against a 10-man Rayo Vallecano in the Spanish league Monday.

Defender Suarez scored his first goal of the season when a long clearance landed at his feet and he blasted a powerful shot into the far corner, out of goalkeeper Antonio Rodriguez’s reach, in the 21st minute.

“It was a really beautiful goal,” Suarez said. “I don’t normally score, but it was nice and I’m happy we’ve won.”

Defender Jose Albacar missed a chance to double Elche’s lead when he sent a header just wide two minutes later.

Elche goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton saved Alberto Bueno’s close-range shot in the first minute of the second half and Rayo fluffed another opportunity when Roberto Trashorras powered his shot from just inside the penalty area wide in the 59th.

“They put a lot of pressure on us at the back and we found it very hard to make clearances,” Transhorras said. “We had our chances to draw the match, but their second goal really killed the game.”

Elche midfielder Mario Pasalic headed wide from an excellent cross in the 64th.

Rayo was reduced to 10 men when Jose Baena was sent off in the 78th for two yellow cards within minutes of each other.

Mendes broke through Rayo’s defense thanks to a skillful one-two with Faycal Fajr and scored with a low shot under Rodriguez in the 84th.

Elche rose to 17th place on 20 points while Rayo stayed in 15th on 23 points after 22 rounds. Real Madrid leads the standing on 54 with Barcelona one point behind in second while Atletico Madrid is third on 50.


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