23.06.2024 20:34 h

Espanyol promoted to La Liga with play-off win over Oviedo

Espanyol were promoted to Spain's La Liga for the 2024/25 season on Sunday with a 2-0 second leg home win against Real Oviedo in the promotion play-off final.

Javi Puado scored a first-half brace on the stroke of half-time at the Stage Front Stadium to earn his boyhood club a 2-1 aggregate win and a return to top-flight football next term.

The result meant Espanyol, who finished the campaign in fourth spot in the table, immediately bounced back up to La Liga one season after being relegated.

It is the second time the Barcelona club has pulled off the feat after also being relegated in 2020 -- prior to that their last relegation was in 1994.

Puado managed to escape his man at the back post as a corner floated in and poked a right-footed finish past Leo Roman in the Oviedo goal to level the tie on aggregate in the 44th minute.

The 26-year-old attacker then struck again three minutes later to completely turn the play-off on its head before the interval, when he rolled home Pere Milla's touchdown inside the box following a ball over the top.

Oviedo had won the first leg of the play-off 1-0 at their home stadium last Sunday, courtesy of Alemao's 73rd-minute strike.

But after the turnaround in Catalonia, their wait for a first return to La Liga since 2000/01 will continue.