Diego Lainez Scores First Goal In Europe With Huge Equalizer Late For Real Betis

The 18-year-old Mexico international chose a great time to score his first goal with the Spanish club.

Welcome to Europe, Diego Lainez.

Lainez, a diminutive, 18-year-old Mexican, moved to Real Betis from Club América in January to join club vice captain Andrés Guardado, a fellow Mexico international. He had played in five matches before Thursday with all of two yellow cards to show for it. 

But the precocious winger picked one helluva time to come up with his first major contribution for his new club, netting his first goal with a dramatic late equalizer in a 3-3 draw against Stade Rennes in the Europa League on Thursday.

Thursday’s match, played at Roazhon Park, which will host Women’s World Cup matches this summer, was smashing from start to finish. Adrien Hunou put the home side in front in the second minute and an own goal made it 2-0 inside 10 minutes. 

Lainez arrived on the scene in the 27th minute, an emergency substitution for the injured Júnior Firpo. 

Almost immediately, Real Betis went on the front foot and scored via this slapstick goal from Giovani Lo Celso.

Lainez was lively upon his introduction, his first career appearance in the Europa League. But Betis went into halftime down 3-1 after a penalty kick from Hatem Ben Arfa.

Los Béticos pulled back within one thanks to a goal from defender Sidnei, but they had to wait until late for a last-gasp equalizer.

The Diego Lainez goal vs Rennes arrived in the 90th minute. Sergio Canales whipped in a corner kick that bounced around the box for a bit. Eventually it fell to Lainez, who, despite a poor angle, smashed a volley back across goal, fooling the keeper and providing Real Betis with a huge result away from home.

Not bad for your first Europa League match. Here it is from another angle.

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The 3-3 draw with three away goals will give Betis, currently seventh in LaLiga, an advantage heading into the second leg back in Spain. Rennes, the eighth-place team in Ligue 1, will lament the missed opportunity after twice leading by two goals. 

But it could be worse for Rennes. At least it didn’t lose at BATE Borisov like Arsenal. 

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