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Match round-up - Second Division A, Day 30

A surprising weekend in the second division, with none of the top five able to win. The defeat of leaders Betis on Saturday meant that a victory would take Sporting Gijón clear at the top, but in the end they had to make do with sharing the lead with the Andalusians after they were held to a 1-1 draw by struggling Recreativo. Abelardo’s side took the lead in the eighteenth minute when Guerrero got on the end of Jony’s long ball into the area to slide a first time shot past Rubén Gálvez. Domínguez equalized though some ten minutes later, firing a shot inside the near post following a quick counter-attack, and the visitors could have taken the three points had Antón’s free kick not come back off the crossbar after the interval. Girona too had an opportunity to join the leaders, but they could only draw 0-0 at home to bottom club Sabadell. The locals had the better of the first half without really troubling Nauzet, and Anibal headed over at the other end soon after the break. Ramalho headed a Granell free kick against the post and Sandaza failed to convert a couple of late chances, but in the end both teams had to settle for a point.

Valladolid meanwhile remain in third spot after they were beaten 2-0 by Ponferradina. Berrocal put the locals ahead after Sobrino’s long pass bounced through to him in the ninth minute, and substitute Yuri made it two from the penalty spot after Peña tripped Pablo Infante in the area soon after the interval. Infante and Acorán could have increased the lead on quick breakaways as the visitors threw everything forward, but Hernán Pérez came close to reducing the gap when he shot into the side netting later on. Manolo Díaz’s side stay seventh though after sixth placed Zaragoza beat Racing Santander 0-2 in this Sunday’s mid-day game. Popovic’s side had not won in five matches, and they were lucky not to go behind when a strike by Mariano was ruled out for what the referee considered to be a previous foul. However three minutes in to the second half Borja opened the scoring from the penalty spot after the striker himself was brought down by Mario Fernández. And with the game coming to an end Borja rounded the keeper to score his second of the day and his twentieth of the season, taking him to the top of the second division goalscorers’ chart.

The wins for Zaragoza and Ponfe keep them clear of the chasing pack for the last play-off spot, with Lugo joining Leganés and Numancia on 41 points after beating Alavés 3-2. Manu and Toni combined to set up Pablo Caballero to head the opener for the home side midway through the first half, and the Argentinian striker headed in a David López free kick to make it two soon after the restart. Manu Barreiro got one back from the penalty spot though after he was fouled in the area a few minutes later, and although Toni restored the two goal cushion with an individualist effort soon afterwards, Barreiro set up a nail-biting finish with his second of the evening after Sangalli’s shot came back off the bar. Alavés are now three points behind their hosts and two above Tenerife, who move clear of the danger zone after beating Osasuna 2-1. Ifrán got the first for the Canary Islanders shortly before the break after Riesgo failed to clear Suso’s cross, and Maxi Pérez headed the second from Cristo’s cross with five minutes to go. Nekounam did get one back from the penalty spot after Cristo pushed over Nino, but the Iranian midfielder was sent off a minute later for a second bookable offence. Osauna end the weekend just two points above the drop zone having only picked up one point in eight games. (22.03.15)

Leaders Betis were surprisingly beaten 1-3 by Leganés on Saturday evening, bringing to an end a run of fifteen games without defeat. The visitors were by far the better team in the first half, Diamanka having a goal ruled out for a dubious offside before Eraso latched on to Aguirre’s pass to put them ahead. Diamanka got himself sent off for a second bookable offence with five minutes to go to the break, but before the half time whistle Marc Bertrán made it two after Postigo headed on a corner, and just two minutes in to the second half Postigo himself scored the third after Aguirre’s free kick fell to him. Pepe Mel used up all of his changes soon afterwards, and Rubén Castro hit the bar before Jorge Molina picked up Vadillo’s assist to pull one back, but there was no way back for the Andalusians. Betis stay top overnight at least though after fourth placed Las Palmas lost 4-2 at Numancia. The Soria based side scored three times in a ten minute period around the half hour mark, Julio Alvarez connecting with Natalio’s cross to net the first and then floating in a wide free kick for Juanma to head the second. And soon afterwards another Alvarez free kick was only cleared as far as Natalio, who crossed in for Gaffoor to head the third. David Simón cut in from the right to get one back though before the break, and Araujo, Ortuño and Momo all missed chances for the visitors after the restart. Alvarez scored again though directly with an inswinging corner, and although Momo converted a late penalty after Asdrúbal was brought down in the area, it was too late to prevent a second defeat in a row for the Canary Islanders.

Leganés and Numancia are now just two points below the play-off spots pending Sunday’s games, and Llagostera and Alcorcón are just a point behind them after both won their respective games. Llagostera extended their unbeaten run to seven games after a 0-1 victory at Mallorca, who drop three points below their opponents in the table. Xisco hit the bar for the islanders before the break, but Sergio León got what was to prove the only goal following a quickly taken free kick with ten minutes to go. Alcorcón meanwhile beat Barcelona B 3-1, their first win at home since the beginning of December. With only four minutes gone Campins put through his own net after Mayor headed on Javi Jiménez’s long clearance, and with half an hour on the clock David Rodríguez made it two from the penalty spot after keeper Ortolá was sent off for bringing him down. Gumbau got one back just two minutes later with a back-heel flick from Grimaldo’s corner which looped over Jiménez into the net, but David Rodríguez wrapped things up in the second half with a third goal after Guichón’s free kick came back off the upright. The defeat leaves Barça B in next to bottom spot after only picking up two points in the six games since Jordi Vinyals took over from Eusebio. Mirandés are also in the mix for the play-off spots, and they are a point behind Llagostera and Alcorcón after they drew 0-0 at Albacete. The closest anyone came to scoring was when Jorge Díaz hit the bar after the interval, but heavy rain made play almost impossible from then on. (21.03.15)