Only one second division match was left over to Sunday, with Numancia beating Córdoba 1-0 to move above their opponents to twelfth spot. It was the usual end of season game between two sides who had nothing to play for, with several players as well as local coach Pablo Machin saying their goodbyes. His side had the better of things, with Del Pino hitting the bar and Saizar being tested several times, but it was not until six minutes from the end that Nieto got the winner. The fixtures rounds off the regular season, although four teams are still involved in the play-offs for the one remaining promotion spot, with semi-finals kicking off on Wednesday. (09.06.13)
Villarreal are promoted directly to the first division after beating their closest rivals Almería 1-0 on the last day of the season! Although both teams started the match level on points, a losing head-to-head record meant that the visitors needed to win, and Charles saw an early effort blocked by Musacchio. A few minutes later Aleix Vidal hit the post, but Jonathan Pereira and Perbet went close at the other end in reply. And ten minutes in to the second half Pereira picked up Cani's through ball and fired a shot past Esteban to take Marcelino's team back to the top flight after just one season in the second division.
Almería still have a chance of going up though, and they now enter the play-offs for the last promotion spot, where they will play Las Palmas in the first semi-final. The Canary Islanders had a difficult last match against a Murcia side who were fighting to stay up, but although they lost 1-0, Ponferradina's draw at Lugo meant that they still ended up in sixth place. Matilla got the only goal of the game for Onésimo's side with a direct free kick on the hour mark, and having finished the league in nineteenth spot, they now await the decision of the courts to see whether Guadalajara's relegation for financial irregularities is confirmed.
Ponferradina themselves miss out on a play-off spot after they could only draw 2-2 at Lugo, a result which took them level with Las Palmas, but below them in the table on the head-to-head record. Despite the 2,000 away fans spurring them on, the Castilla-León side went two down at the break, ex Las Palmas striker Quiroga returning from a long injury to beat Leandro twice. With a quarter of an hour to go Claudio Barragán eventually turned to Wellington Silva, and the substitute got one back within seconds of coming on. Eight minutes later Yuri made it all square, but in the end the goals came too late to get the win they needed.
Alcorcón will also be in the play-offs after they thrashed Sabadell 4-0. The Madrid based side had gone five games without a win, but with only four minutes gone Fernando Sales deflected a Sergio Mora shot past De Navas to open the scoring. Sales set up Juli for a second some twenty minutes later, and Kike López added a third before the break, beating the keeper with an angled shot. That virtually ended the game as a contest, but with the final whistle approaching Urko Vera wrapped things up with the first goal the striker had scored all season.
Alcorcón will meet Girona, who confirmed their place in the play-offs a couple of weeks ago. The Catalans rested several key players but still drew 1-1 against Real Madrid Castilla in their last match, Ion Vélez putting them ahead with an hour on the clock, and Oscar Planas equalising a minute later. Castilla ended a respectable eighth in the table, thereby finishing two points ahead of rivals Barcelona B, who were beaten 2-1 by bottom club Xerez. All the goals came from youngsters who were given a run out by their respective coaches, Amoroso getting the winner after a strike by Dongou had cancelled out Javi Forján's early opener.
Xerez had already lost hope some time back, and last weekend it looked as if the other three relegation spots had been confirmed. However the news that Guadalajara had been demoted due to financial irregularities left one place free, and Murcia, Huesca and Racing Santander were all in with a chance of saving themselves this weekend. Huesca were in fact the best placed, and a win at Recreativo would have kept them up, but in the end they could do no more than draw 0-0. That meant that Murcia were the team to remain in the second division, and a 3-0 victory by Racing against Hércules was to no avail. Youth international Jairo scored twice after the break, and Oscar Pérez got a third late on, but when news came through that Murcia and that their team were going down for the second season in a row, there were serious protests from the home fans.
Guadalajara themselves visited champions Elche this weekend, and they still put up a brave fight before losing 3-1. Carlos Terrazas's side were in front at the break after Juanjo headed in Badía's cross, but second half goals by Xumetra, Linares and Javi Flores turned the scoreline around. One other match kicked off on Saturday, Mirandés beating Sporting Gijón 2-1 to move up to fourteenth in the table. Ex Sporting forward Luis Morán got both goals, with Bernardo equalising temporarily for the Asturians after getting on the end of a Juan Muñiz free kick in the first minute of the second half. It was a good end to a first season at this level for Mirandés, and curiously all of the teams who were promoted last year (Ponferradina, Lugo and Castilla were the others) have stayed up. (08.06.13)