On paper the match of the weekend in the second division was undoubtedly the one at mid-day on Sunday between last week's top two, Elche and Girona, although in the end it finished in a disappointing 0-0 draw. The heavy rain which has been falling in Spain over the last two days put many fans off and made playing conditions difficult, and there were few chances for either side throughout. The locals did have the better of the first half though, Xumetra shooting wide early on and Coro and Albacar trying their luck a couple of times. But the Catalans rallied after that, with Sanchón and Bordás going close, and only a timely tackle by Etxeita prevented Tébar from opening the scoring. Little work for either keeper in the end however, and with six games to go Elche's lead at the top over has been cut to nine points. Still a lot to play for, and next weekend the top four teams all meet each other, Elche visiting Villarreal and Girona hosting Alcorcón, who moved a point above them in the table this weekend.
Almería's promotion challenge is fading though, and they are now six points behind Alcorcón after a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Murcia. Victories for Mirandés and Hércules earlier in the weekend had left Onésimo's team four points away from safety, but they closed the gap again thanks in part to a lobbed goal by Kike García shortly before half time, and in part to a string of good saves by Javi Jiménez after the restart. All of that dragged Guadalajara back in to the relegation struggle, Carlos Terraza's side now just four points above the drop zone after falling to a 1-0 defeat at Recreativo. The Andalusians started the match just a point above their opponents in the table, but Arana won it for them after picking up Chuli's assist on a quick breakaway midway through the second half.
Real Madrid Castilla are level with Recreativo on 48 points after they drew 3-3 at Numancia in the last match of the weekend. It was a freezing cold night in Soria, with snow still lying around the pitch after a recent storm (at the end of April in Spain!), but the few fans who braved the climate were rewarded with an entertaining game. Bonilla put the locals ahead in the second minute with a shot which deflected in off Lago Junior's bum, but Cheryshev turned in the equaliser from Jesé's cross four minutes later, and the visitors went in front when Jaio headed a Borja corner back in to his own net. Julio Alvarez made it all square before the break with a well struck free kick, and Pedro Martín restored the lead for the home side following another short corner some twenty minutes in to the second half. But with a home win seemingly on the cards Fabinho headed in Mosquera's injury time free kick to keep the youngsters a point ahead of their hosts in the table. (28.04.13)
Alcorcón moved back up to second place pending Girona's game at leaders Elche on Sunday after beating bottom club Xerez 2-1 on Saturday evening. It was a close run thing though, the Andalusians holding on until the second minute of injury time, when substitute Dani Nieto got the winner with a well struck free kick. The Madrid based side had dominated the first half, Oriol Riera testing Chema before heading the opener from Juli's cross shortly before the break. The visitors came back though after the restart, Marquitos equalizing after Bodipo played on Maldonado's centre, and although Maldonado was sent off for a second bookable offence soon afterwards and Bruno Herrero near the end, it looked as if a draw was on the cards until Nieto struck.
Fourth placed Villarreal drop three points behind Alcorcón though after they were held to a 0-0 draw at Lugo. Marcelino side had gone thirteen games without defeat, but with games against Elche, Alcorcón and Girona coming up they needed a win to consolidate their challenge for the direct promotion spots. However José Juan and his defence kept them at bay, the local keeper in particular saving from Perbet early on, and the locals could have taken the lead when Tonetto rounded Juan Carlos only to shoot wide. After the break the visitors had more chances, Cani firing a volley just wide, Oriol coming up against José Juan, and Gaspar heading against the bar, but in the end they had to settle for a point.
Las Palmas saw their run of four straight away wins come to a grinding halt after they were thrashed 5-1 by Córdoba. The home side took the lead in the sixth minute when López Garai headed in Abel's corner, and the Canary Islanders were left with nine men when Dani Castellano and Hernán both picked up second bookings with only a quarter of the game gone. Soon afterwards Xisco headed in a Fuentes cross to make it two, and although Christantus got one back ten minutes in to the second half, Armando restored the two goal cushion a minute later following another Abel corner. The Andalusians had Aguilar sent off for a foul on Thievy with twenty minutes to go, but López Silva and Fede Vico added two more after that to give new coach Juan Eduardo Esnaíder his first win since taking over three weeks ago.
Las Palmas hold on to sixth spot however after their closest rivals Ponferradina could only draw 1-1 at struggling Huesca. Claudio Barragán's side will be grateful for even a point though after Wellington Silva latched on to a loose ball on the edge of the area to score the equalizer with only a minute left on the clock. The locals went ahead just before half time when Borja beat Santamaría on the follow up after the keeper had saved a previous effort, and Borja and Nuñez could have added to the lead after the restart. But with a quarter of an hour to go Camacho got himself sent off for a second bookable offence, and Wellington's goals left the Aragón based team five points away from safety.
Sporting Gijón's hopes of making the play-off spots took another set-back when they were beaten 0-1 by Hércules. The visitors were looking to build on a seven match unbeaten run which saw them move out of the relegation zone last week, but neither team made much of an impression in a dull first half which ended with the home fans whistling their players off the park. After the break Portillo lobbed a shot over the bar with the goal at his mercy, and David Rodríguez hit the post at the other end. However with ten minutes to go Paglialunga won it for the Alicante based side after connecting with a loose ball on the edge of the area to fire a shot past Cuéllar. (27.04.13)
Two second division matches on Friday evening, with Racing Santander sinking further in to the drop zone after a 1-2 defeat at the hands of Barcelona B. The Cantabrians took the lead early on, Gai Assulin turning the ball past Masip after Koné played on Jairo's cross, and the visiting keeper had to save from Jairo a few minutes later. Rafinha made it all square though just before the break with a shot from the edge of the area, Mario injuring himself trying to stop the ball entering the net and having to be replaced by Dani Sotres. After the restart Koné hit the post and Jairo had a goal ruled out for a borderline offside, but with three minutes to go Luis Alberto passed across for Lobato to fire home the winner for Eusebio's team.
Racing are further away from safety after Mirandés beat Sabadell 2-0, and if Hércules win on Saturday as well, the gap will increase to six points. Carlos Pouso's side started well, De Navas having to save from Goiria and Muneta before Mújika opened the scoring after Caneda played a Muneta free kick back across goal. With four minutes to go to the interval Rúper made it two with a shot from the edge of the area after Díaz de Cerio laid the ball back in to his path, and it was not until late on that the Catalans reacted, Caneda having to clear a shot by Juvenal off the line near the end. (26.04.13)