BATA, Equatorial Guinea (AP) – Goals from Dani Guiza and Diego Castro helped give in-form Getafe their fourth win in six Primera Division games as they beat fourth-placed Levante 2-1 on Sunday.
There was a slice of good fortune for Getafe with their opening goal just after the half-hour as Guiza saw his initial effort blocked by Levante goalkeeper Gustavo Munua only for the rebound to come back off the Spain striker and go into the empty net.
Levante improved after the break and hit the crossbar through Arouna Kone, but Getafe doubled their lead eight minutes from time when Castro tapped in after Munua had again denied Guiza.
That looked to have wrapped up the points for Getafe but the visitors had to endure a nervy finish after Alberto Lopo handled Vicente Iborra's shot on the line and, after the defender had been sent off, Ruben Suarez slotted home the penalty.
Levante could not find an equaliser though as they slumped to their seventh loss of the season.
Getafe manager Luis Garcia has kept faith with Guiza in recent weeks despite the striker going over three months without a goal, but that belief was rewarded as the former Real Mallorca man put the visitors in front on 32 minutes.
Javi Casquero's pass over the top was perfectly timed for Guiza's run and despite Munua's best efforts he could not stop the ball rebounding in off the Getafe striker's foot.
The hosts had failed to score in their previous two home games but showed much more ambition in the second period and could have been level within two minutes of the restart but Miguel Angel Moya did well to turn Nabil El-Zhar's shot around the post.
Eight minutes later Kone came even closer as a well-worked corner found Sergio Ballesteros and his header found the Ivorian inside the six-yard box but under pressure from two Getafe defenders he could only swing his shot against the bar.
Despite Levante's pressure, Getafe always looked capable of taking advantage of the extra space they were being given on the counter-attack and their second goal arrived in that manner.
Guiza was again denied when one-on-one with Munua, but Castro was following up to make no mistake from just inside the area.
Levante were given a lifeline in stoppage time as Lopo was dismissed for handling Iborra's goal-bound effort and Suarez neatly slotted home the penalty, but despite a late siege from the home side Getafe held on.