Second division, week 41
The race for promotion is still wide open after the top four all won, and Numancia, Getafe and Alavés will have to battle it out for the two remaining spots on the last day. Numancia consolidated their second position with a 0-1 win over bottom club Algeciras, Moreno getting the goal in the first half, and with a home match to come they must be favourites to join Levante. Getafe stay level on points with them though after a late 2-1 victory over Eibar, Gari Uranga heading the winning goal only two minutes from the end to send the local fans wild. A win next weekend at Tenerife will take them up to the top flight for the first time ever, although if either they or Numancia slip then Alavés will be waiting to nudge them out. The Vitoria based side stay two points behind both after beating Ciudad Murcia 1-0 thanks to a Rubén Navarro strike shortly before half time.
Levante were sure of promotion a couple of weeks ago though, and they tied up the second division title this weekend with a 2-0 win over Poli Ejido, Aganzo and Congo the goalscorers. There was sadness in Gijón however, Sporting losing 2-1 at Almería to wave goodbye to any chances they had of going up this year. The win means that Almería make sure of their place in the second division for next season, and they will certainly be competing with Málaga B and Tenerife, who also will both be staying up after drawing 2-2. Terrassa are also clear of any threat of going down despite losing 2-1 to already relegated Las Palmas, where the league's top scorer Rubén scored twice in his last home appearance before moving on to Deportivo.
The last two remaining relegation spots are still unclear after this weekend's results, although Rayo Vallecano must still be favourites to join Las Palmas and Algeciras after they were held to 1-1 draw at Salamanca. Txetxu Rojo's team are three points adrift of four sides, Córdoba, Leganés, Poli Ejido and Ciudad Murcia, but with a better head-to-head record than all but Leganés, a win combined with defeats for two of them would still see them safe. Córdoba moved out of the bottom four to the detriment of Ciudad Murcia after a 1-0 win over Elche, and their game at Leganés next weekend will be a real cliff-hanger. The Madrid based side missed out on a chance to pull away from the danger zone this weekend after losing 3-1 at Recreativo.
The fight for promotion from the second division B is also very close, and with four days gone all four play-off groups are closely contested. Lleida, Pontevedra, Racing Ferrol and Gimnastic Tarragona currently head up their respective tables, but none of the sixteen sides (except of course for the ineligible Celta B) can be ruled out with two games to go. In the relegation play-offs, Betis B will go down to the regional third division after losing the final to Peña Sport. (13.06.04)
With only two games to go to the end of the season, all second division matches with something at stake have been synchronized to kick off on Sunday evening. The local derby between Xerez and Cádiz was played on Friday night though, with both sides cancelling each other out in a 1-1 draw. The goals came late in the in the day, Jonathan Sesma putting the visitors ahead and China's Shang Yi equalising soon after coming on as substitute. (11.06.04)