Sevilla missed a chance to strengthen its grip on third place in the Spanish league after conceding an 87th-minute own-goal in drawing with Levante 1-1 on Monday. Luuk de Jong put Sevilla ahead a few seconds into the second half but a fluke play near the end gave the host the draw as a cross partially saved by goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik ricocheted off defender Diego Carlos and went into their own net.
Sevilla was on its way to opening a six-point gap to fourth-placed Real Sociedad had it held on to the victory. It would also have moved within six points of second-placed Real Madrid, although the team’s main goal this season is to finish in the top four and guarantee its return to the Champions League.
Sevilla last played in the European competition in the 2017-18 season, when it was eliminated by Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals.
Real Sociedad can move to a point behind Sevilla if it wins at Alavés on Thursday.
Fifth-placed Getafe and sixth-placed Atlético Madrid are five points behind Sevilla ahead of their midweek games.
The game at Levante was Sevilla’s second after the league resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic. It got the league going on Thursday by beating city rival Real Betis 2-0.
Sevilla had the most significant chances from the start but couldn’t capitalize on them until De Jong completed a pass from Munir El Haddadi after a fast counterattack less than 30 seconds into the second half.
El Haddadi struck the crossbar from a 15th-minute free kick, and Diego Carlos had a goal disallowed in the 54th for an offensive foul inside the area.
There was not much Diego Carlos could do when the the ball hit him and went into the net after Vaclik couldn’t hold on to a low cross by Levante defender Jorge Miramón.
Levante nearly got the late winner when Borja Mayoral’s low shot forced Vaclik to make a difficult save by the post in the 90th.
Levante is playing its home matches at Camilo Cano Stadium in La Nucía, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from its base in Valencia, where Ciutat de Valencia Stadium is being renovated.
Large banners with photos of Levante fans were in the empty stands of Camilo Cano.
Sevilla on Friday hosts leader Barcelona, which on Tuesday plays against relegation-threatened Leganés at Camp Nou Stadium.