LEEDS, England (AP)Rodrigo salvaged a point for Leeds in a 2-2 draw with fellow Premier League struggler West Ham on Wednesday.
The Spain forward powered home his 10th league goal of the season midway through the second half to deny West Ham a much-needed victory.
The Hammers were on course for their first league win since October after goals either side of halftime – via Lucas Paqueta’s penalty and Gianluca Scamacca’s strike – had canceled out teenager Wilfried Gnonto’s opener for Leeds.
Both teams wore black armbands as a mark of respect for West Ham joint-chairman David Gold, who died on Wednesday at the age of 86, and there was a minute’s applause before kickoff.
The Hammers halted a run of five straight league defeats but is in fourth-to-last place and only out of the relegation zone on goal difference. Leeds is three points higher in 14th place.
Leeds, also a team in need of a lift after taking one point from its previous three matches, started well.
In the 28th minute, Gnonto combined with Crysencio Summerville on the edge of the area to put Leeds ahead, slamming a low shot inside Lukasz Fabianski’s near post.
It was the Italy midfielder’s first goal for Leeds and his first in English soccer.
The visitors were awarded a penalty for Pascal Struijk’s challenge on Jarrod Bowen after a VAR intervention just before halftime. Paqueta placed his spot kick in the top right-hand corner.
West Ham struck within moments of the second half to make it 2-1. Leeds midfielder Brenden Aaronson’s misplaced pass found Scamacca and the Italy striker curled a low shot in off a post from 25 meters (yards).
The home team equalized in the 70th minute when substitute Jack Harrison teed up Rodrigo on the edge of the box and the Spaniard took one touch before smashing home a fine finish.
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