BARCELONA – Espanyol’s Spanish forward Borja Iglesias notched on Saturday the fastest La Liga goal of the season as he gave his team the lead over Valladolid just 18 seconds into the match that saw his teammate Lei Wu also become the first Chinese to score in La Liga.
The 26-year-old Borja broke the standing 2018/2019 La Liga season record set by Rayo Vallecano midfielder Alvaro Medran at 29 seconds when he found the back of the net, also against Valladolid. It turned out to be the only goal in Rayo’s 1-0 win the hosts on Jan. 5.
The third-fastest La Liga goal of the season belongs to Athletic Bilbao Spanish midfielder Raul Garcia, who scored after 42 seconds against Eibar. This goal also was all Athletic needed to prevail over visiting Eibar on Feb. 23.
Borja’s goal was the fastest ever in the history of Espanyol’s RCDE Stadium, which was inaugurated in 2009.
He continues to prove his worth with Espanyol having bagged 11 La Liga goals. He notched another three Copa del Rey goals to become the Barcelona-based team’s top scorer.
Despite the early lead, a goal by Valladolid midfielder Ruben Alcaraz in the 17th minute canceled out Borja’s speedy effort.
The visiting team even had a chance to take the lead in the dying minutes of the first half when Valladolid was awarded a penalty kick, but goalkeeper Diego Lopez, a former Real Madrid player, blocked forward Sergi Guardiola’s attempt.
The second half brought more good news for the home side as central defender Mario Hermoso gave Espanyol the lead back and for good just ten minutes into the second half.
It took Espanyol another other 10 minutes to put the game out of Valladolid’s reach as China winger Lei Wu scored the third goal.
Having joined the Spanish team during the winter transfer window after a 12-year spell at Shanghai SIPG, he became the first Chinese player ever to find the back of the net in the history of La Liga.
After the win, Espanyol temporarily climbed into the 11th spot in La Liga table, while Valladolid remains in the 16th spot with 26 points.
Valladolid, however, could fall further down pending the remaining matchday results.