- Associated Press - Friday, November 18, 2016

SEVILLE, Spain (AP) - Joaquin Sanchez placed two corner kicks for teammates to head home and give Real Betis a victory in the debut of coach Victor Sanchez on Friday.

Joaquin’s two crosses for first-half goals by defenders Bruno Gonzalez and Aissa Mandi earned the 2-0 win over Las Palmas in Seville.

Betis found the weak spot in Las Palmas’ set-piece defense and Joaquin exploited it with two crisp corner kicks to the near post where Gonzales and Mandi scored from close.

“We are very happy for the win and to see the team has a clear plan,” Gonzales said.

Betis hired Sanchez last week to take the team over following its firing of Gus Poyet after four losses in its previous five matches. Sanchez, a former Real Madrid player, had been jobless since he was sacked by Greek club Olympiakos in August after just two months in charge.

Sanchez opted for a new five-man defense and it succeeded in limiting Las Palmas’ attack to a few early threats.

The win over Las Palmas lifted Betis into 12th place before the rest of the matches of the 12th round are played.

Las Palmas, which has cooled off after a great start to the season, remained in ninth place with only one win in the last eight rounds.

“We weren’t sharp today,” Las Palmas’ Vincente Gomez said. “We hope we figure this out in time for the next match.”

On Saturday, leader Real Madrid visits fourth-place Atletico Madrid in a Spanish capital derby, while second-place Barcelona hosts Malaga.

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