SEVILLE, December 22 (Primera Liga) - Real Betis` 10 men stole victory over Osasuna with a 90th-minute strike from Marcos Assuncao.
Betis had taken the lead in the 17th minute when Alfonso struck, but Denilson`s dismissal in the 57th minute weakened them.
Ivan Rosado grabbed an Osasuna equaliser in the 84th minute, but there was still enough time left for Betis to grab their last-gasp winner.
The result defied recent form with Osasuna going into the match on a run of four victories in their last five games, and Betis having been beaten by struggling Rayo Vallecano last weekend to slip out of the top four in the table.
The game started with both teams looking to attack.
Osasuna had the best of the early exchanges, carving out a couple of good early chances.
The best of these came in the third minute, when a long ball out of defence found Ivan Rosado racing clear of the Betis back line, who had pushed up for an offside.
The forward took the ball into the area, but by this time home goalkeeper Toni Prats had come off his line and was able to smother his attempted chip.
In the 13th minute the hosts countered, when Capi slipped the ball out to Joaquin Sanchez.
From the right-hand side of the area, Joaquin chipped the ball over to the back post for Alfonso, but he steered his header wide of the mark.
Alfonso made no mistake when presented with another opportunity, though, minutes later.
His side were awarded a free-kick 30 yards out on the right and Assuncao decided to use it to swing a ball to the back post.
Alfonso arrived late, managing to get ahead of his marker, and he powered a downward header into the net, between the legs of Ricardo Sanzol in the visitors` goal.
Osasuna faded as the half wore on and the Seville team were able to control the pace of the game more and more.
The Betis defence was looking strong and successfully blunted the early threat their guests from Pamplona had shown.
The game was turned upside down though, with Denilson`s red card.
The talented Brazilian was sent off after he launched into a verbal tirade in protest at a free-kick given against him for a foul on Jose Izquierdo.
Osasuna were the dominant force after that incident.
As the game progressed, Betis tried to keep it tight in the middle, allowing Osasuna to pour down the flanks where the cover was sparse.
The visitors created chance after chance, going closest when Cesar Cruchaga`s shot shaved the outside of the post.
Gerard Rivero swung the ball into the box and the Betis defence were unable to clear.
Cruchaga stabbed in a shot that eluded Prats but missed the target by the narrowest of margins.
Osasuna`s luck changed for the equaliser, though.
Ivan Rosado fired in an effort from 25 yards out.
Prats parried, but pushed the ball up in the air.
Rosado, who had continued with his run, was able to get to it first as it came down and he looped a header over the unfortunate keeper.
But Betis were not finished and the set-piece brilliance of Assuncao saved the points for them in the end.
It was a trademark effort from the Brazilian.
Betis were given a free-kick 20 yards out slightly to the left of the centre of the goal.
Assuncao lifted it right-footed over the wall and into the top left-hand corner of the net past the despairing Sanzol`s right hand.