Elche and Levante in stalemate

Elche moved four points clear of the Primera Division relegation zone, but Angel Rodriguez's 74th-minute strike denied them victory over regional rivals Levante at the Martinez Valero.

Richmond Boakye's strike just after the hour mark put Elche on course for a deserved win, but Levante responded well to going a goal down, with Rodriguez's equaliser ensuring a 1-1 draw.

It may prove a case of two points squandered for Elche, who face Malaga, Barcelona and Sevilla in a difficult end-of-season run-in, while a share of the spoils moves Levante up into the top half of the table.

They started well as Rodriguez's strike from a decent position was smartly saved by Manu Herrera, while at the other end Costa Rican Keylor Navas tipped Damian Suarez's curling free-kick from the left wing round the post.

Elche gained a foothold as the half wore on, but on-loan Real Mallorca midfielder Javi Marquez and Coro were guilty of missing the target with efforts from inside the area.

While the hosts continued to dominate proceedings, they were restricted to wayward, long-distance efforts for the remainder of the half, with Levante's defence holding firm.

The visitors nearly made Elche pay for their struggles in the final third, but Hector Rodas headed wide from Pape Diop's free kick from the right.

Yet Fran Escriba's men were finally rewarded for their first-half superiority as they made the breakthrough in the 63rd minute, with Boakye drilling low past Navas from the edge of the area.

Levante's response was impressive, however, as they levelled just 11 minutes later with Rodriguez coolly slotting home from close range.

Elche pushed forward as they sought to retake the lead, but again poor finishing cost them dear as Garry Rodrigues missed the target on three occasions in the final 15 minutes.