OSASUNA EURO BID GOES ON
Osasuna kept up their hopes of European football next season with a narrow 1-0 win over Real Sociedad.
Ibra Balde got the goal after 14 minutes and it proved enough despite sustained Osasuna pressure that never translated into a second.
The win moves Osasuna to eighth place but they are only two points behind fifth-placed Atletico Madrid going into the final day with all to play for.
Real Sociedad survived an early scare when Claudio Bravo fumbled Alvaro Cejudo's shot but it took only 14 minutes for the opening goal to come as Balde got on the end of Marc Betran's cross to finish from close range.
At the other end, Andres Fernandez kept out a free-kick from Diego Irfan, but Osasuna were soon on the attack again, with Bravo denying Javad Nekounam.
But that chance, in the 21st minute, was effectively the last of the first half as Osasuna appeared content to protect what they had.
Sociedad had a chance early in the first half with a free-kick, but Irfan struck the wall.
That at least seemed to wake Osasuna up, with Balde testing Bravo from close range before Francisco Nino brought a better save out of the goalkeeper.
Francisco Punal then blazed over from long range.
Carlos Vela sent another free-kick into the wall for the visitors who continued to fail to test the goalkeeper.
Raul Garcia's effort was saved by Bravo but Sociedad then began to give the home fans frights as they showed signs of life.
Antoine Griezmann headed narrowly over before Vela and Alberto De la Bella tested Fernandez.
Balde missed from close range for Osasuna, before Jon Ansotegui wasted
a great chance when picked out by Griezmann, shooting tamely over the bar.
Balde's late effort brought a save out of Bravo, but the one goal proved enough.
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