Last-place Elche squander two-goal lead in Betis loss

Elche's disheartened fans have been dealt another blow after the Spanish league's bottom team squandered a two-goal lead before going down 3-2 to Real Betis.

The hosts had two players sent off and conceded a stoppage-time penalty in Friday's loss.

A penalty converted by Fidel Chaves and a goal by Lucas Boye had Elche well ahead after only eight minutes and eyeing what would have been just their second win in 23 league games.

But Elche fell apart once again after defender Lisandro Magallan was issued a direct red card for fouling Nabil Fekir with only the goalkeeper to beat. That left the hosts undermanned from the 57th minute.

Manuel Pellegrini sent on striker Borja Iglesias and left back Juan Miranda to spark his attack at half-time and they came through.

After Elche went down to 10 men, Iglesias pulled one back in the 65th from the penalty spot when Ayoze Perez was fouled by Jose Morente.

Miranda levelled three minutes later with a cross that hit the far post to beat goalkeeper Edgar Badia.

Badia appeared to have salvaged a point for Elche in the 88th when he saved another penalty taken by Iglesias after Enzo Roco touched the ball with his hand.

But another handball by Roco that earned him an expulsion for a second booking let Willian Jose go to the spot and rifle home the winner five minutes into injury time.

The crushing outcome came one week after 10-man Elche conceded a stoppage-time goal to lose to Espanyol 1-0 also at their Martinez Valero Stadium.

Elche coach Pablo Machin and his players complained about the expulsions and the penalties, while thanking the team's supporters.

"We did lots of things well, and my team showed it has character, talent and soul," Machin said. "The 20,000 fans who supported us today, beyond the result, can value our effort."

Elche remain in last place, 13 points from safety. Fifth-placed Betis closed to within one point of Atletico Madrid in fourth.