Valencia held by Rayo, stays near relegation zone in Spain


Justin Kluivert scores penalty goal vs. Rayo Vallecano

Justin Kluivert scores penalty goal vs. Rayo Vallecano

MADRID -- — Valencia couldn't manage more than a 1-1 draw at home against Rayo Vallecano on Monday, remaining near the relegation zone in the Spanish league.

The result moved Valencia to 17th place but it has the same points as 18th-placed Espanyol and second-to-last Almeria. It could have risen to 15th with a victory at Mestalla Stadium.

“It doesn’t feel like it's a lot,” Valencia captain José Luis Gayà said after the draw. “We played well enough to win, but it’s been like this in these last few rounds. We have been playing well but not winning.”

Valencia will try to win its first away game in the league since October when it visits Almeria on Sunday in a key match in the fight against relegation.

It was the seventh consecutive winless match for Rayo, which stayed in eighth place and within range of the European places.

The visitor opened the scoring with a goal by Santiago Comesaña after nine minutes. Valencia equalized with a penalty kick converted by Justin Kluivert in the 82nd after a handball.

Valencia last played in the second division in 1986-87.

Barcelona has a 12-point lead over Real Madrid at the top of the standings.