Villarreal shared the points with Racing Santander (1-1) after a strange encounter that saw the Yellows take the lead through Hernan Perez at the start of the second half and dominate the game before letting the Cantabrian side back into the match in the final moments. At the finish the points shared and a most unsatisfactory conclusion for Miguel Angel Lotina's outfit for whom Racing's last gasp equaliser must have felt like a bucket of cold water.
Well aware of the importance of the match, Villarreal started the match with a measured approach while still looking to take the initiative from the opening whistle. Racing, meanwhile looked to keep their line organised while aiming to make the most of breaks on the flanks to threaten Diego Lopez's goal. With 19 minutes gone Borja Valero's effort brought the best out of Mario who fisted his effort away.
On the half hour, great individual play from Martinuccio who used his speed down the line before finding Nilmar in the six yard box, only for the Brazilian striker's effort to go just past the post. The Submarine were now in total control of the game but unable to convert their superiority into clear goal chances.
With 44 minutes played came the Yellows clearest chance of the game when Marchena found Hernan Perez with a perfect pass only for the striker's effort over the advancing Mario to be hit long.
The second half saw the Submarine increase the pressure. And with just a minute of the second half played, Borja Valero's superb pass from the left was met by Hernan Perez who got the better of Mario with a powerful mid-height cross shot to put the Yellows ahead.
Minutes later, Hernan Perez came close again after losing his marker, Cisma, before hitting his shot past Mario but across the area.
With the passing of the minutes, the game calmed down even though Racing were looking to create danger from dead ball movements while a well organised Villarreal looked to settle the game with their own brand of triangular football, although all the efforts from Lotina's men were constantly thwarted by the Santander side.
A jinking run from Hernan Perez in the 79th minute put in Bruno whose magnificent strike from the edge of the flew just past the post. Seconds later, Nilmar brought the best out of Mario, when a last minute big hand from the Santander keeper deflected the striker's effort away for a corner.
And just as it looked like the game would finish in the Yellows' favour, Acosta levelled proceedings with a header from Jairo's cross seconds before the final whistle to earn a share of the points and conclude an unsatisfactory afternoon for the Submarine.
Villarreal: Diego Lopez; Angel, Zapata, Musacchio, Catala; Bruno, Marchena (Marcos Senna, 69'), Borja Valero, Hernan Perez, Martinuccio (Camunas, 62'); and Nilmar (Castellani, 83').
Racing Santander: Mario; Francis, Alvaro, Torrejon, Cisma; Luque (Jairo, 75'), Colsa, Diop (Edu Bedia, 82'), Adrian (Acosta, 67'); Munitis and Stuani.
Goals: 1-0, min. 46: Hernan Perez. 1-1, min. 93: Acosta.
Referee: Carlos Clos Gomez (Aragon Society). Yellow cards for Villarreal's Borja Valero (25') and Hernan Perez (88') and Racing Santander's Colsa (61') and Diop (81').
Match corresponding to 34th day in the BBVA La Liga played at the Madrigal in front of about 15,000 spectators. The public and the club sent a message of support to Giuseppe Rossi before the start of the match. The director general of Family and Solidarity, Herminia Palomar was at the game in support of the Promotional Week of Sports Volunteers.