If Mexican wunderkind Diego Lainez’s European career was a car, you could say it definitely has the pedal to the floor.
On a corner, with Betis down a goal and little time remaining, some headers in the area got the ball directly to Lainez’s feet, and the 18-year-old (!!) fully announced himself on the international stage with a left-footed bomb that went far-post and found the back of the net.
The first goal of Diego Lainez’s Real Betis career, a late equalizer in their Europa League Round of 32 first leg vs. Rennes— Concacaf Future Stars (@concafutures) February 14, 2019
Lainez tied the game up 3-3 and gave Betis a clear advantage for the second leg as they will be at home and now have three away goals in their favor.
Lainez began the match on the bench but came in for Betis after a 27th minute injury to midfielder Junior Firpo. Rennes was already up 2-0 on the Spanish side, but Lainez’s addition came at the right time for Betis’ offensive spark and they scored their first goal just five minutes after he came onto the pitch.
Lainez even got a nice shot off shortly after coming on after some nice back and forth with teammate Sergio Canales but Rennes goalkeeper Tomas Koubeck was attentive with his save.
In all, Lainez enjoyed a solid Europa League debut with some exciting dribbling and strong passing. He made 30 accurate passes—93 percent—signifying an efficient outing from the young prospect. SofaScore gave Lainez a 7.3 match rating.
As mentioned before, Lainez’s career in Europe has started off fast more than anything. Despite being the youngest player in Real Betis’ first team, Lainez has had no trouble finding early placement in the squad. Look at his timeline below:
Jan. 10: Lainez’s sale to Real Betis confirmed
Jan. 15: Betis officially unveils Lainez as newest signing
Jan. 17: Lainez included in Copa del Rey team on the bench
Jan. 20: Lainez makes La Liga debut vs. Girona as a sub
Jan. 27: Lainez makes first La Liga start vs. Athletic Bilbao
Jan. 30: Lainez makes first start in Copa del Rey vs. Espanyol
Feb. 12: Lainez included in Europa League squad
Feb. 14: Lainez makes Europa League debut and scores first goal
Is this the first of many for Lainez in Europe? How many goals will the young Mexican tally in all competitions this season? Let us know in the comments below!
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