Second division, day 42
Cádiz and Celta both won their away games 0-2 to ensure promotion to the first division. The two sides drew level on points with Alavés, who lost 0-1 at home to Sporting Gijón, a result which means Cádiz are proclaimed second division champions. The other contenders Eibar were held to a 1-1 draw by Racing Ferrol and finished three points off the promotion spots.
Cádiz had a tricky last visit to neighbours Xerez, but they never looked back after Oli put them ahead midway through the first half. Abraham Paz added a second from the penalty spot four minutes after the interval, and it was game over when local defender Bajic got himself sent off a few minutes later. Celta's nightmare finally came to an end with their victory at Lleida, and for the second time in a fortnight their fans celebrated promotion. There was talk before kick off of an appeal to the European Sports Tribunal after their appeal against the decision to dock three points was turned down, but all was forgotten when Jandro beat Rangel on the stroke of half time, and then substitute Jesús Perera got a second near the end.
Eibar ended the day just three points short of promotion after they were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by Racing Ferrol. For a few minutes they were a first division side though when Llorente put them in front with just over a quarter of an hour gone. But news came in of goals by Cádiz and then Celta, and ten minutes in to the second half club captain Karmona gave away a penalty and got himself sent off on the day he was retiring from football. Mario Bermejo converted the kick and their dreams were over. There was a festival atmosphere a few kilometres down the road though, where Alavés were celebrating their return to the first division after two seasons away. However a late goal by Sporting Gijón's Pablo Alvarez meant that Cádiz got ahead of them on head-to-head goal average.
All the relegation issues were settled last week, but there was still some interest as reports that Tenerife were struggling to meet their debts to players by the end of July deadline gave them hope that the Canary Islanders could be demoted instead and that one team could be saved from the drop. In the end it was Córdoba who made it to the nineteenth spot, a 0-2 win over Tenerife themselves taking them above the other contenders. There was a three way tie between the other relegated sides, Pontevedra catching Salamanca on points after a 4-1 victory in a match which started with three penalties, and Terrassa beating Málaga B thanks to a goal from Juan Carlos.
Recreativo Huelva's hopes of promotion were all but dashed last week, their only chance being a twenty goal victory over Nàstic and defeats for the teams above them. So they went for an attractive game of football instead, ending with a 4-4 draw in which the Begoña brothers both scored for their respective teams. Valladolid's season was also already over, and they rounded off a disappointing season with a 1-2 defeat at the hands of Elche. And in the last game of the season, Almería beat Real Murcia 1-0 with a first half strike from Luna. (18.06.05)
The last weekend of the season kicked off early, with Ciudad Murcia losing 1-3 to Poli Ejido on Friday night. A couple of weeks ago the game would have been a tense relegation struggle, but with both sides safe after last weekend's round of matches, the atmosphere was relaxed. Víctor Salas scored twice as the visitors ended their campaign with a victory. All eyes will be on tomorrow's three matches involving Cádiz, Celta and Eibar though, which all kick off at the same time. Celta's appeal to reinstate the three points deducted for disciplinary reasons last week was turned down, and they will have to dispute the two remaining promotion spots with their rivals. (17.06.05)