- Associated Press - Friday, March 3, 2017

SEVILLE, Spain (AP) - Veteran midfielder Xabi Prieto scored two goals to help Real Sociedad win a 3-2 at Real Betis and climb up to fourth place in the Spanish league on Friday.

Prieto, playing his 15th season for Sociedad, twice restored the Basque side’s advantage following an opening goal from 21-year-old Jon Bautista.

Bautista struck 10 minutes into his first start, taking full advantage of the injuries and suspensions to the team’s three first-choice strikers.

The reserve team player used a deft touch with his shoulder to control a lobbed pass before slotting under goalkeeper Antonio Adan.

Algeria defender Aissa Mandi’s scissor kick drew Betis level but Prieto’s long-range shot put Sociedad back in front in the 26th.

Shortly after hitting the crossbar, Betis substitute Antonio Sanabria headed in Ruben Castro’s cross to make it 2-2.

But the 33-year-old Prieto popped up with another goal in the 72nd when he headed forward Mikel Oyarzabal’s cross just inside the upright.

Sociedad moved into fourth place, which earns a Champions League spot.

Atletico Madrid can reclaim fourth place by beating Valencia on Sunday.

Betis stayed in 14th place after a fifth consecutive home match without a victory.

“We understand why our fans our upset,” Adan said. “We play well for stretches, and then we make silly mistakes and concede easy goals.”

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