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Vela nets from penalty spot, but Real Sociedad drops points in draw

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Vela: Thank God I have silenced critics
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Vela: Thank God I have silenced critics

Mexican forward Carlos Vela scored his 10th goal of the season for Real Sociedad, tallying a first-half penalty kick in his side's 1-1 draw with 10-man Levante on Sunday.

The prolific Vela, who remains reluctant to join El Tri during its World Cup qualifying campaign, scored in the 18th minute to put Sociedad ahead after winning the penalty when Nikos Karabelas fouled him in the area. Levante's Michel equalized from the spot 11 minutes later, though, and Sociedad could not find a winner despite being a man up for the final 33 minutes after Karabelas was sent off for his second yellow card in the 57th minute.

As a result, Sociedad lost a bit of ground in its quest for a Champions League berth, as it trails Malaga -- a 1-0 winner over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday -- by five points for fourth place in La Liga. Sociedad, Valencia and Rayo Vallecano are all level on 37 points, though the latter two sides have a game in hand.

The goal was Vela's fifth in his last 10 matches and tied him with Rayo Vallecano's Piti and Sevilla's Alvaro Negredo for seventh most in the Spanish top flight.

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