Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Real Madrid's Mariano took flight for a diving header in stoppage time of a 3-0 win against Alaves in La Liga.
The Dominican striker subbed into the match in the 75th minute for Karim Benzema before netting the score on Sunday at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid.
Madrid led 2-0 after 80 minutes, getting scores for Benzema and Vinicius Junior to take control of the clash.
Right back Alvaro Odriozola chased down a pass toward the right corner flag at the start of the final sequence. He then fired a cross through the box. Mariano sprinted into the box and waited on the cross before launching his body parallel to the ground. He smashed the header into the far-post netting, not giving Fernando Pacheco any chance at a save.
"I'm very happy to be playing again after so much time out where I could not give my all for the fans," Mariano told RealMadrid.com. "I'm happy with the win and for this finish. I was a little nervous and I never want to make a mistake in front of these fans. Then the goal came and relaxed me."
Left back Sergio Reguilon helped Madrid draw first blood. The spanish defender took a through ball into the left side of the box during that sequence. He then fired a pass to Benzema, who tapped the feed past Pacheco in the 30th minute.
That score held through the half before Vinicius Junior doubled the Madrid lead. Marco Asensio received a ball on the right flank during that possession. He then found Vinicius Junior on the far-side of the box. The Brazilian striker hammered a shot into the far-post netting in the 80th minute.
Then came Mariano's magic.
"I'm available for the coach for what he needs, I'm ready to fight game by game and to give everything for this team," Mariano said. "We're all very united and happy to win these games. We're going to try to carry on like this. I'm going to bring fight, hope and hard work to help get the best out of my teammates. We will give everything against Barcelona."
Madrid battles FC Barcelona in the first leg of a Copa del Rey semifinal matchup at 3 p.m. on Wednesday at Camp Nou in Barcelona.