TARRAGONA, April 15 (Primera Liga) - Real Zaragoza's title challenge faltered on Sunday as they lost out to a Gimnastic Tarragona side battling to save their Primera Liga existence.
Javier Portillo was the hero for Nastic with his late strike enough to earn the spoils for the foot-of-the-table club and move them six points from the safety mark.
Zaragoza, however, remain six points behind leaders Barcelona, and that gap could be even greater if Frank Rijkaard's men win their clash against Real Mallorca later on Sunday.
The visitors could have taken the lead after just five minutes through Diego Milito, but the Argentinian striker sliced an Andres D'Alessandro cross past the left post from just six yards out.
But Nastic refused to be overawed by their high-flying opponents, and almost opened their account seven minutes later with David Generelo's powerful drive tipped around the post by visiting goalkeeper Cesar Sanchez.
The chance gave Nastic more confidence, and moments later Jose Calvo caused further panic in the Zaragoza defence with a long-range strike which was turned off the line by Gabriel Milito.
Zaragoza were relieved to have weathered the storm, and the first half quickly settled into a nervous battle short on goalmouth action.
D'Alessandro eventually produced another shot after 32 minutes with a free-kick which was punched away by Albano Bizzarri.
But the half produced no further chances until a minute before the interval, although Antoni Pinilla's drive flew wide of the right post.
The tension continued after the break, with Sergio Garcia trying his hardest to break the deadlock in the 53rd minute although his header from Alberto Zapater's cross was narrowly wide.
Neither goalkeeper had had much to do so far in the match, but Cesar was tested again in the 60th minute by a 20-yard strike from Generelo which was well held by the veteran.
And Gabriel Milito's defensive skills were also needed when he blocked a powerful free-kick from Alejandro Campano soon afterwards.
Nastic continued to have the better chances and Cesar was called upon to make another good save after 70 minutes when Ruben Castro tried his luck from 20 yards.
But the hosts almost conceded themselves when Ewerthon's 18-yard drive was cleared in the area by Antonio Marco but only as far as Juanfran, who chipped the ball back into Diego Milito with the striker denied by an agile Bizzarri.
It was a huge let-off for Nastic and their response was to score the opener eight minutes from time.
Castro swung in a corner to the far post, which was picked up Portillo and hastily thumped into the top-left corner.
The goal spelt bad news for Zaragoza's title ambitions, and Victor Fernandez's men immediately pressed for an equaliser.
Diego Milito flashed a 30-yard drive wide of the right post, while Bizzarri pulled off a stunning finger-tip save to deny Oscar Gonzalez from the edge of the area.
Zapater then had one last chance to salvage a point for Zaragoza, but his last-minute strike also flashed inches wide as Nastic held on for a vital win.