MADRID — Croatian striker Ante Budimir scored with 14 minutes left to give home side Osasuna a 1-0 win over Alaves in the Spanish league on Monday.

The veteran center forward stood out from kickoff due to his black protective mask and he got even more attention when he curled home a sublime strike from outside the box to break the deadlock in a tight match.

Until then, both sides struggled to create clear cut chances, with Alaves’ Samu Omorodion coming closest seconds before halftime when he hit the post.

Budimir’s 14th goal in 27 league games this season helped to extend Osasuna’s unbeaten run to four matches.

“The mask has been good,” he said of the protection following a nose injury against Las Palmas a week ago. “It was the only way to play … and playing is the only thing that matters.

“As for the goal, it was a clean strike. And then you just enjoy seeing it hit the net.”

Osasuna rose to a point above Getafe and into 10th place in La Liga.

Alaves was in 13th. The Basque club has gone five matches without a win and has hit the net only three times its last six games.

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