Madrid, Oct 18 (EFE).- Atletico Madrid took an early lead here Tuesday against Rayo Vallecano only to end up having to settle for a draw after former Atleti hero Radamel Falcao converted a penalty in stoppage time.
Atleti remain third in LaLiga on 20 points and victory over Rayo would have brought them level with second-place Barcelona and only 5 points behind leaders Real Madrid.
The draw means that the Colchoneros will fall to fifth if both Real Betis and Real Sociedad win on Wednesday.
Rayo, meanwhile, improved to 12 points, good enough for 10th in the table.
The hosts went with a high line to start and got their reward in the 20th minute, when Antoine Griezmann intercepted a bad pass from Fran Garcia and sent a cross into the box for Alvaro Morata, who made it 1-0 Atletico.
But the Colchoneros failed to get the vital second goal and the initiative passed to Rayo, led by the 36-year-old Falcao, who scored 52 goals in 68 appearances and hoisted the Copa del Rey during his 2011-2013 stint with Atletico.
Atleti’s Jose Maria Gimenez let his arm get in the way of a Rayo shot in the 89th minute and after consulting VAR, the referee pointed to the spot. Falcao converted with authority and the teams shared the points.