Nothing to choose between the teams on the first day of the play-off semi-finals, with both games ending all square. Hércules and Alcorcón kicked things off on Wednesday with a 1-1 draw, the visitors getting the all important away goal with less than a minute on the clock when a long shot from Angel Sánchez went through the hands of Juan Carlos in to the net. The local keeper made up for it in part with a good save from Fernando Sales soon afterwards. Manu Herrera had to be on his toes at the other end though to keep out Arbilla and Escassi, and six minutes in to the second half Sardinero equalised after Agus and Rubén Sanz bumped in to each other going for a high ball, leaving the forward free on goal. Tiago Gomes, Aganzo and Escassi all went close after that, but Anquela's side held on to take the advantage in to Sunday's second leg.
Later in the evening Córdoba and Valladolid played out a 0-0 draw, a result which in the end favoured the visitors. Djukic's side were feeling sore about missing out on promotion on the last day, but they are still favourites to go up, especially as their third position gives them home advantage in the second leg, and a change in the rules means that the higher ranked teams now go through if scores are tied, rather than settling the outcome in a penalty shoot-out. The Andalusians were looking to go up for the first time in 40 years, and second division top keeper Jaime had to keep out Pepe Díaz in particular a couple of times. Alberto also made an important save from Nauzet, and Javi Guerra fired two or three chances wide. No goals though, and everything will be decided on Sunday in the Nuevo Zorrilla stadium. (06.06.12)