Real Sociedad strengthens hold on Europa League spot with win over Elche

Real Sociedad's Mikel Oyarzabal. (Angel Fernandez/AP)

MADRID — Real Sociedad strengthened its hold on a Europa League spot after topping 10-man Elche 2-0 in the Spanish league on Friday.

Aritz Elustondo put the hosts ahead in the 72nd minute and Mikel Oyarzabal sealed the victory in stoppage time to increase Sociedad’s advantage in fifth place.

The Basque Country team opened a four-point gap to sixth-placed Villarreal and has a five-point lead over seventh-placed Real Betis. Villarreal hosts Celta Vigo on Sunday, while Betis hosts Granada on Monday.

Elche played a man down from the 11th minute when Raul Guti was sent off with a straight red card determined by video review for a hard foul on an opponent.

The loss left Elche closer to relegation. It stayed second-to-last in the 20-team standings.

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