Park Chu-Young kicks slump with goal in 1-1 draw

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Park Chu-Young kicks slump with goal in 1-1 draw

Park Chu-young scored the equalizer in a 1-1 draw against Mallorca on Sunday, earning a point for Celta Vigo, which is struggling to survive its first season back in the first division of the Spanish football league.

In the home match at Balaidos Stadium, Park nullified a 22nd minute goal by Mallorca striker Tomer Hemed as the 27-year-old Korean connected on a low cross from forward Iago Aspas Juncal in the 56th minute.

It was the second goal of the season with the Spanish club for Park, who was moved by Arsenal on a season-long loan in August.

He scored his first goal Sept. 23 in a 2-1 victory over Getafe, then was scoreless in the following three matches. His Spanish club coach Paco Herrera criticized Park as falling short of expectations.

On the draw with Mallorca, Celta Vigo moved up to the 16th place, ahead of Granada on goal difference.

Celta Vigo, which returned to the first division this year after six seasons in the second division, has 11 points, one point ahead of Deportivo, one of three relegation-bound teams in the 20-team league. Osasuna and Espanyol, the two worst teams, each has nine points.

Granada lost 1-0 on Sunday to Atletico Madrid, which moved within three points of league leader Barcelona. A 3-1 victory at home to Real Zaragoza on Saturday put Barca six points clear, but Atletico stayed close thanks to Arda Turan’s goal and despite losing midfielder Mario Suarez to a second yellow card midway through the second half.

In the only English Premier League match Sunday, Sunderland finally rediscovered its scoring touch to beat 10-man Fulham, 3-1, at Craven Cottage and pull away from the relegation zone.

Martin O’Neill’s side, which had scored only seven goals and won just once in 10 league games prior to Sunday, found the net three times with 20 minutes in the second half.

Strikes from Steven Fletcher, Carlos Cuellar and a screamer off the post from Stephane Sessegnon wrapped up the points in the 69th minute against a Fulham side reduced to 10 men.

The balance turned in Sunderland’s favor when Fulham’s Norwegian center back Brede Hangeland was shown a straight red card by referee Lee Probert after a reckless lunge on Lee Cattermole with an hour to play.

Sunderland took the lead when Fletcher scored in the 50th minute - 15 seconds after Fulham’s John Arne Riise hit the bar at the other end.

Fulham equalized when substitute Mladen Petric hooked the ball home from close range but after that Sunderland took control.

Although they only climbed one place to 15th, Sunderland moved on to 12 points from 11 games, three clear of Aston Villa who are 18th. Fulham are ninth with 16 points.

By Moon Gwang-lip, Reuters [joe@joongang.co.kr]

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