CompetitionsLa Liga

Vinicius Junior scores in Real Sociedad draw as he earns 100th Real Madrid cap

Vinicius Junior was delighted to mark his 100th appearance for Real Madrid with a late equaliser in a 1-1 home draw against LaLiga rivals Real Sociedad.

The Brazilian substitute salvaged a point for Real Madrid by firing home from close range in the 89th minute after Portu had given the visitors a second-half lead.

He told the club’s official website: “It’s a big achievement to play 100 games in these colours. I’m delighted and this is a very special day for me.

“I’ve told my family that it’s been really exciting to make 100 appearances and to give everything for this shirt, which we love so dearly.”

The point was not enough for Zinedine Zidane’s third-placed side to leapfrog Barcelona into second and they are currently five points adrift of leaders and city rivals Atletico Madrid, who have a game in hand.

On the back of their five-match unbeaten league run – with four successive wins before Monday night’s draw – Vinicius Junior was confident Real could extend their streak as they now focus on Sunday’s derby clash.

He added: “In the first half we played really well but we gave them a bit of space in the second half and they punished us for it.

“We’re disappointed we didn’t get the win we needed. We’d aimed to win all five games before the derby, but we got a draw in the last one.

“We have to continue on in this vein if we want to win things this season.

“We’ll have to look at tonight’s game and be focused for the Atletico Madrid match. We’ll have to perform well if we’re to win.”

Real Sociedad were transformed at the start of the second period and – after forcing three-successive corners – they took the lead through Portu.

Former Manchester City winger David Silva orchestrated the move and from Nacho Monreal’s cross, Portu rose highest to send a superb header in off the woodwork in the 55th minute.

With time running out the hosts finally hauled themselves level. Federico Valverde’s back heel sent Lucas Vazquez free down the wing and Vinicius Junior, a 61st-minute replacement for Isco, finished into the bottom corner.

Vinicius Junior praised Real Madrid’s never-say-die attitude, saying: “We’ll always give our all for this shirt, which we defend and love so dearly.

“We’re going to keep this up and keep fighting until the last minute.”

On the tough schedule, Vinicius Junior added: “La Real are a good side that play some very good stuff. It was tough and that’s what LaLiga is like.

“We face tough games every three or four games and we have to be focused to approach every one of them in the best possible shape.”

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