|Second Division B - play-offs, semi-finals, second leg
The second legs of the play-off semi-finals took place today, with eight teams qualifying for the four finals. Rayo Vallecano made it through to the finals for the second year in a row after a narrow 1-0 victory over Benidorm. Pepe Mel's side took the lead with a Llorens penalty midway through the first half after Pablo Cendros handled in the area. The game was held up though for almost half an hour after a fence collapsed as fans surged forward to celebrate the goal, thankfully without serious consequences. Rayo's opponents in the group A final will be Zamora, who won 1-2 away at Linares. The visitors went ahead in the seventh minute when Iker Alegre beat Moso, and although ex Spanish international striker Catanha equalised with twenty minutes to go, Senel got the winner near the end.
Ponferradina are in with a chance of returning to the second division at the first attempt after knocking out Mérida in their group B match. The 1-2 victory in the first leg gave them a big advantage, and when Ernesto opened the scoring in the eighth minute the León based side appeared to have everything tied up. But a strike by Juli Ferrer soon after restart made it 1-1 on the night, setting up a nail-biting finish. They will have a tough opponent though in Alicante, who almost beat them two years ago in one of the promotion finals. The west coast side won 3-0 against Canary Islanders Fuerteventura, ex Sevilla winger Luis Gil having a hand in all three goals which were scored by Capi, Cañadas and Joan Tomás.
Southern regional champions Écija overturned a first leg defeat to beat Deportivo B 3 -0 in their group C match. Pepe Díaz put them ahead on the half hour mark but then got himself sent off soon after the break. But even so strikes from Luna and Requena saw them through against the youngsters, who olny came up from the regional third division last season. They will meet Huesca, who knocked out Gavà on the away goal rule after a 1-1 draw in their Alcoraz stadium. Lalo opened the scoring for the locals with a well struck free kick, but the Catalans equalised through Rubén just two minutes after the restart.
Girona are through to the group D final after beating Barakaldo 2-0. Miki Albert put them ahead with just under a quarter of an hour on the clock, but local keeper Rafa Ponzo was the hero after that, saving a Beltrán penalty in the second half before Xumetra wrapped things up near the end. The Catalans will meet Ceuta, who surprised Pontevedra winning 1-2 in Galicia after a 1-1 draw in the first leg. The North Africans took lead with a controversial strike from Javi Navarro on the stroke of half time, the home side's Turiel not being allowed back on the park at the time by the referee after going off to be attended for an injury. Fran Amedo got a second though midway through the second half, and Gato's last minute strike came too late to change the result.
The relegation play-offs were also decided this weekend, with Villajoyosa and Baza going down to the regional third division. Villajoyosa lost 0-1 at home to Osasuna B, ending a run of five seasons in the second division B. Ione got the only goal for the visitors a quarter of an hour in to the second half. And Baza were beaten 3-1 in a penalty shoot out by Villa Santa Brigida after 210 minutes without a goal by either side, the second leg ending the same as the first, 0-0. (01.06.08)