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Match round-up - Second Division A, Day 21

Mallorca remain outside of the top six for another week after they could only draw 2-2 at home to Córdoba in this weekend’s Sunday mid-day game. Both teams started level on points, but once again the islanders were lacking at home, Xisco heading the opener for the visitors on the quarter hour mark, and Rubén Miño having to make first half saves from Xisco and Caballero. Alfaro hit the bar with a free kick just before the break, but soon after the restart Pedro ran through to score a second for the Andalusians. However with an hour on the clock visiting keeper Saizar let Mallorca back in to the game when he allowed a long shot by Gerard Moreno to pass through his hands in to the net, and the on-loan Villarreal striker saved a point for his side just ten minutes from the end when he picked up an Alfaro assist to lift an angled shot past the keeper. Córdoba finished the game with ten men when Luso was sent off for a hard tackle on an opponent.

Once again though most of the top teams failed to win, and after Deportivo’s goal-less draw on Saturday, second placed Sporting Gijón also drew 0-0 at Tenerife on Sunday evening. Ayoze caused a few problems for Cuéllar and his defence in the first half, but Santi Jara hit the post at the other end, and after the interval local keeper Roberto had to make saves from Bernardo, Scepovic and Lekic. The canary Islanders had Bruno sent off for a second bookable offence with a quarter of an hour to go, but they held on for a valuable point which keeps them two above the drop zone. The early leaders Recreativo are in free-fall though, the Andalusians dropping to fifth after losing 1-2 to an improving Sabadell, a third defeat in a row for Sergi Barjuán’s side. Montoro opened the scoring for Recre on the quarter hour mark after good work by Ezequiel, but he then got himself sent off for a foul on Sotan Tanabe just before the break. With twenty minutes to go Kiko Olivas headed the equalizer following a corner, and seven minutes from the end Sotan got on the end of a Collantes cross to head the winner, a fourth victory in a row for the Catalans taking them level with Mallorca and Córdoba in the table.

Third placed Eibar also saw their recent good run come to an end when they were beaten 1-2 by Numancia. The Soria based side themselves had not won in three games, but they took the lead just before half time with a Julio Alvarez penalty after Yuri cut out a cross with his arm, and just two minutes after the restart Sergi Enrich made it two after picking up a return pass from Luis Valcarce. Jota headed one back from Arruabarrena’s cross a few minutes later, but the visitors closed shop for a win which takes them back up to sixth place. Zaragoza also took advantage of the poor results of the teams above them to climb up to fourth after a 3-1 win against an Alcorcón side who came in to the game full of confidence after their midweek cup win against Espanyol. Barkero got the first early on after Dani Giménez could only push out a shot by Roger, and Roger himself got the second on a quick breakaway following an Alcorcón corner a few minutes later. Ten minutes in to the second half Luis García converted a penalty after Babín was sent off for bringing down Roger, and although Dani Pacheco got one back with an impressive shot from outside of the area, the strike came too late to prevent a defeat which leaves the Madrid based side down in the bottom four for the first time this season.

Barcelona B and Mirandés both moved out of the relegation spots though after respective wins on Sunday evening. Barcelona B recorded their best result of the season, beating Hércules 5-0 to put an end to the Alicante based team’s run of three victories in a row. Planas started things off in the eighteenth minute after picking up an assist from Denis Suárez, and Suárez himself made it two on the stroke of half time after a dazzling run by youngster Adama Traoré. Just four minutes in to the second half Adama scored the third himself after picking up Espinosa’s pass to outstrip his marker and beat Falcón with an angled shot, and Dongou added a fourth after Ilie put him through on the hour mark. There was still time though for Suárez to wrap things off with a well struck free kick, taking Eusebio’s team level with their opponents in the table. Later in the evening Mirandés won 2-0 against Lugo, a first victory under new coach Carlos Terrazas taking the Burgos regional side a point above Alcorcón in the table. Both goals came after the interval, Irome heading a Muneta corner past Dani Mallo just four minutes in to the second half, and Nagore firing home a rigorous penalty twenty minutes later after Pavón handled in the area. Lugo are now only two points above the drop zone after a seventh game in a row without a win, although with only six points separating the play-off spots and the relegation places at the mid-point of the season, there is plenty of time for them to make a recovery. (12.01.14)

Leaders Deportivo made sure of ending the first half of the season in first place, although they will be disappointed that they could only draw 0-0 at home against next-to bottom club Girona on Saturday evening. The Galicians had not won in three games, and with star player Culio on the way to a big money deal in the Emirates, they were lacking ideas. Borja, Rudy and Juan Carlos did go close early on, but Lux had to be at his best to push a shot from Gerard Bordas on to the post, and Richy fired an acrobatic shot just wide soon afterwards. That was about it though for the Catalans, and only some top class saves from visiting keeper Isaac Becerra after the break prevented Rudy, Insúa and Luis from giving the home side the three points. A 0-0 scoreline as well between Ponferradina and Las Palmas, a result which left the Canary Islanders still in fifth spot pending Sunday’s games, and kept their hosts three points behind them in the table. The man of the match though was visiting keeper Barbosa, who made first class saves from Fofo, Rueda and Yuri amongst others. Yuri had a strike ruled out for what the referee considered to be a previous foul with twenty minutes to go, and Santamaría in the local goal hardly had any work to do throughout the ninety minutes.

Murcia remain three points behind Las Palmas after they drew 2-2 at Real Madrid Castilla, although they will be more than happy with a point after playing over an hour with nine men. Despite having Alcalá sent off for hand ball with only ten minutes gone, Kike García took advantage of a mistake by Llorente to put the visitors ahead. Raúl de Tomás got on the end of Jaime’s cross to equalize though, and on the half hour mark Alex Martínez was sent off for a foul on the forward, and Omar Mascarell stepped up to convert the resulting penalty. Acciari headed in a corner at the start of the second half though to save a point for Julio Velázquez’s side. Castilla stay in bottom spot, but they close to within a point of Alavés, who lost 1-2 to Jaén. Most of the action came after the break, René pushing a Viguera penalty on to the post after Alex Cruz handled in the area. A few minutes later Ion Vélez gave the locals the lead, the ex Bilbao striker getting on the end of a Beobide cross to beat the visiting keeper, but just two minutes later Jona got on the end of free kick to equalize. With fog closing in, Alavés were left a man short when Luciano picked up a second booking, and with the game in injury time Fran Machado took advantage of a quick free kick to score the winner. (11.01.14)