SEVILLE, Spain — Canadian international Cyle Larin marked his first start for Real Valladolid with a goal, albeit in a 2-1 loss at Real Betis on Saturday in Spanish league play.
It marked the third goal in four appearances for Larin, who had previously come on as a substitute for his new club.
The goal came in the 30th minute with Valladolid trailing 1-0. Larin bodied a Betis player off the ball at midfield and flicked it to nearby teammate Kiki Perez. The midfielder charged unchallenged towards the Betis penalty box with Larin in front of him.
Larin moved to the right and Perez found him just inside the penalty box where the Canadian fired a low right-footed shot that beat goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and bounced in off the post.
“O Canada,” Valladolid tweeted on its English-language account.
Betis, which had gone ahead on a second-minute goal by Juanmi, regained the lead in the 49th minute off a Sergio Canales penalty.
Valladolid (7-12-3) stands 14th in the 20-team La Liga. It was 17th, in the relegation zone, and had lost five straight, outscored 10-0, before Larin joining from Belgium’s Club Brugge on Jan. 24 in a loan deal with a purchase option at the end of the season.
Betis (11-7-4) is fifth in the standings.
Larin joined fellow Canadian Tajon Buchanan at Club Brugge in July from Turkey’s Besiktas but failed to establish himself in the lineup. He had one goal in 13 appearances for the Belgian side.
The 27-year-old from Brampton, Ont., is Canada’s leading men’s international scorer with 25 goals in 48 appearances. He saw action in all three World Cup games in Qatar and played a key part in Canada’s successful World Cup qualifying campaign with 13 goals in 16 games.
The six-foot-two striker set the Canadian men’s scoring record in January 2022 in a 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over the U.S. in Hamilton, passing Dwayne De Rosario, who had 22 goals in 81 appearances.
Larin joined Canadian captain Atiba Hutchinson at Besiktas in January 2018 after a messy exit from Major League Soccer’s Orlando City. Larin scored 23 times in 45 games to help Besiktas to the Turkish league and cup double in 2020-21.
After two years at the University of Connecticut, Larin was selected first overall by Orlando in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
He won MLS rookie of the year honours in 2015 after scoring a rookie-record 17 goals and added another 14 goals in 2016 and 12 in 2017.