A CORUÑA, Spain – Clarence Seedorf’s tenure as coach of Deportivo got off to an inauspicious start on Monday as visiting Real Betis prevailed 1-0 to leave the hosts mired in La Liga’s drop zone.
The former AC Milan and Real Madrid star was brought in last week with a mission to save 19th-place Depor from relegation and the nearly 21,000 people in the stands at Abanca-Riazor stadium in A Coruña were hoping to see an improvement.
Florin Andone, for one, seemed to have gotten Seedorf’s message about the need for greater intensity. The forward committed a foul within the first 10 seconds and racked up four more by the time the match clock reached eight minutes.
Deportivo played with more confidence, but a better attitude was not enough to compensate for a continuing weakness on defense or protect the side from the bad luck that saw a pair of promising shots bounce off the woodwork.
While Betis enjoyed 66 percent of possession in the first half, they lacked quality in front of goal.
The visitors renewed the offensive after the break and would have taken the lead in the 51st minute if Depor defender Ruben Martinez hadn’t made great play to thwart Joaquin.
Three minutes later, however, Lorenzo Moron – making only his second start – put Betis ahead 1-0.
The hosts battled back and were poised to equalize in the 70th minute when the post intervened again, this time at the expense of Andone.
Deportivo, with 18 points from 23 matches, remain two points from safety. Betis climb to eighth place with 33 points, just three behind sixth-place Sevilla.