SANTANDER, June 17 (Primera Liga) - Brazilian Edu was the hero for Real Betis on Sunday as the Verdiblancos secured their Primera Liga status with a dramatic late win at Racing Santander.
With little over 10 minutes remaining and the score at 0-0, Betis were staring Segunda Division football in the face with Celta Vigo leading against Getafe.
But Edu broke the deadlock with a priceless header in the 80th minute and then sealed matters on the whistle.
Betis were just one point above the drop zone at kick-off and, although their fate was always in their own hands, they knew they must win at El Sardinero to guarantee their safety.
Youth team coach Paco Chaparro was handed the reins for the vital final game of the season following Luis Fernandez's departure on the back of last weekend's humiliating 5-0 home defeat to Osasuna.
He may only be in charge for the one match, but it proved to be a memorable one - even if they did leave it uncomfortably late.
Gonzalo Colsa had the first sight of goal early on for Racing, but his right-footed effort sailed harmlessly over the crossbar from 20 yards.
Cristian Alvarez then had two free-kicks, which both went the same way and failed to trouble Antonio Doblas.
Exposito Juanjo was next to try his luck for the hosts, only to see his drilled shot blocked by Gutierrez Juanito.
Juanjo sent a weak header over the bar from Gonzalo Colsa's cross in the 19th minute as the home side continued to push for the opener.
Betis' first opportunity of note arrived eight minutes before half-time when Augusto Rafael Sobis' cross was met in the middle by Edu, but he could only direct his header wide.
Marcos Assuncao lashed in a long-range blast two minutes later for the visitors but again to no avail with his shot too high to trouble Juan Calatayud as the teams went in at the interval on level terms.
The action continued in much the same vein after the break, with both sides struggling to create any clear-cut opportunities.
Figueroa Momo fired in the first shot for Racing in the 49th minute, but his long-range effort flew wide of the left-hand upright.
Assuncao shot from another free-kick from the left for Betis two minutes later, forcing a save from the fists of Calatayud.
Martin Dani and Sobis attempted to break the deadlock from distance around the hour mark but neither tested Calatayud.
Armengot Pablo Alfaro could have buried Betis midway through the second half when he got on the end of an Alvarez corner, but his header lacked the necessary power and direction.
Juanjo also did his best to condemn Chaparro's side to the drop with a right-footed shot from the left, but fortunately for the visitors it went wide.
Racing keeper Calatayud was called into action in the 73rd minute to parry a decent volley from Assuncao.
But he was powerless shortly afterwards to deny Edu the crucial opening goal.
Fernando Vega supplied the cross from the left wing and the Brazilian managed to direct his header into the bottom-left corner 10 minutes from time.
Doblas had to be on his toes with the match still finely poised, catching a Pedro Munitis header to keep his side ahead.
But then, in the final minute, Edu struck again to seal matters, latching onto Munoz Xisco's corner and drilling a right-footed shot into the bottom-left corner.