Second division, day 41
Alavés will be back in the first division next season after a 1-2 win at Elche took them to the top of the table. The Vitoria based side fell behind to a Nino goal midway through the first half, but Bodipo equalised three minutes later and then scored the winner after the break. Celta continue to suffer though after their win last week was overturned for disciplinary reasons, and they were beaten 1-2 by an Eibar side who close up to within a point of them in the table. Goals from Llorente and Suárez gave the Basques an unassailable lead, and a late goal from Juan Sánchez was not enough to save the point they needed to go up. To make matters worse Canobbio was sent off in the last minute, and he will now miss the Galicians' last game at Lleida, which they will have to win to be sure of finishing in the top three.
The remaining two promotion spots will be fought out next weekend between the two of them and Cádiz, who moved ahead of Celta on head-to-head goal average after a 3-1 win over Terrassa. Strikes from De Quintana and Sesma and a Manolo Pérez penalty were enough to beat the Catalans, who ended with nine men and who were relegated to the second division B as a result of the defeat. Recreativo Huelva are out of the running after they drew 1-1 with Almería, and although they could still catch Cádiz and Celta their negative head-to-head record against both means they could not get above them in the table. The Andalusians took the lead through Iker Begoña in the first half and looked like they were heading for victory until Lozano equalised in the last minute of injury time.
Almería's goal means that they are now safe, and also means that all four relegation spots were decided this weekend, with Terrassa, Pontevedra, Córdoba and Salamanca all going down. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the 0-2 defeat of Salamanca by Ciudad Murcia, a disastrous result for a side who were in fact one of the favourites for promotion this season. Second half strikes by Güiza and Toni González were enough to send Goikoetxea's side down, and there were angry scenes at the end of the game as fans booed their players off the pitch. Córdoba will be joining them after their great escape fell a few metres short, an exciting 3-4 defeat at the hands of Valladolid putting an end to their hopes. And Pontevedra also ran out steam near the end, a 1-1 draw at Málaga B not enough to save them in the light of the day's other results.
Several sides breathed a sigh of relief though, including Racing Ferrol, who lost 1-2 at the hands of Xerez but who had done enough earlier in the season to stay up. Poli Ejido also got the point they needed in a 2-2 draw with Tenerife, and like their neighbours Almería they will be playing once again in the second division next season. Real Murcia and Lleida had already done their homework though and they were allowed to play earlier in the evening, an Iván Alonso goal giving the home side a 1-0 victory. (12.06.05)
With matches synchronized to kick off at the same time on Sunday, only the game between Sporting Gijón and Nàstic took place on Saturday. The Catalans won 0-3 to leave both sides safely in mid-table. The biggest game tomorrow is between Celta and Eibar, where the locals will have to try and win promotion all over again after the result of their last game was overturned by the disciplinary committee due to the inclusion of an ineligible player in the line up. (11.06.05)