Second division - day 1
If the first division was full of goals, the second division was quite the opposite. Only four were scored in the remaining six games which took place on Sunday, including three 0-0 draws. One of those was at Zaragoza where a 20,000 crowd turned up expecting to see their side bounce straight back after their surprise relegation last season. However they were held by a Córdoba team who knew how to defend, and Paco Flores is going to have his work cut out this season if they are to return at the first attempt.
Compostela and Tenerife were two divisions apart last season, and the Canary Islanders were clear favourites for this game. However the Gallicians took the lead late in the first half from a Maikel header, and only let in their opponents after substitute Aguado got himself sent off soon after making his appearance. A couple of minutes later Basavilbaso got on the end of a corner to level the scores and save a point.
There were only five wins in the eleven games as teams frightened of losing played for the point, and only Las Palmas won by a margin of more than one goal. Numancia beat Sporting Gijon 1-0 thanks to an early goal by full back Carlos Cuéllar, but they had to hang on for two thirds of the game with ten men after keeper Luis was sent off for handling outside of the area.
Sporting's Asturian neighbours Oviedo also lost by a single goal at home to Murcia. The turning point in the game was the sending off of their keeper Donorroso early in the second half for a foul on Tito, Ismael scoring from the resulting penalty. Murcia's Juanma was also sent off near the end.
Badajoz drew 0-0 at home to Leganés, not a bad result considering they ended with nine men on the park after Nuno and Cidoncha were sent off. The visitors thought they had scored when a shot from Ramón hit the bar and appeared to bounce over the line, but the referee ruled out the goal.
A scoreless draw as well between Eibar and Poli Ejido. It was an eventless game, and the Basques seem to have started where they left off last season, despite changing most of their squad in the summer. Must be something in the air. (31.08.02)
One of last year's relegated sides, Las Palmas, got off to a good start with a 2-0 victory over Racing Ferrol, despite having to rebuild their squad after running in to financial difficulties. Brazilian midfielder Baiano chipped them in front midway through the first half, and veteran captain Orlando added a second before the break.
Bernd Schuster's Xerez just missed out on promotion last year, and showed once again that they will be a force to be reckoned with after a 0-1 victory at Elche. Dani Pendín headed the only goal of the game from Zárate's corner just after the restart, and keeper Mora kept out efforts from Nino in the first half and Meca later on.
Newly promoted Terrassa found out the hard way that life in the second division A is tough after drawing 1-1 with Albacete. Captain Mario Gibanel gave them the lead early on, but later in the half the referee awarded a penalty to their opponents and sent off keeper Maestro after he brought down Jesús Perera. The striker himself scored from the spot to save a point.
It was even harder though for another of the promoted sides, Almería, who lost 1-2 at home to Salamanca. They took the lead in the first half through Juan Jesús, and should have scored again later on. However they paid the price for inexperience, and after Vucko levelled the scores in the second half, Robert gave the visitors the three points with an injury time strike.
Points were shared in a 2-2 draw between the two teams who have been most active in the transfer market in recent weeks, newly promoted Getafe and reinstated Levante. The visitors raced into a two goal lead with efforts from Chota and Amato with less than a quarter of an hour on the clock. However Estévez pulled one back after the break with a free kick, and Craioveanu levelled the scores six minutes from the end. (31.08.02)