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Match round-up - Second Division A, Day 32

Betis moved three points clear at the top of the second division after a 3-0 victory over Osasuna in Sunday’s mid-day kick-off. The visitors had only picked up two points from their last nine games, but they had the better of the first half, with Adán having to save from Roberto Torres and Nino. However the introduction of Dani Ceballos at the break changed things, the youngster playing the ball across on the hour mark for N’Diaye to open the scoring at the second attempt after his first shot came back off the post. Six minutes later Rubén Castro made it two after Riesgo misread Varela’s corner, the striker controlling the ball on the far post and poking a shot into the net. And although Osasuna had a strike ruled out for offside, Jorge Molina wrapped things up after a good run by Rennella with three minutes to go.

Sporting Gijón drop back to third place though after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Barcelona B later in the evening. The Asturians had the better chances throughout, although they were unable to find a way past Suárez in the visiting goal, with Jony and Carlos Castro missing the target and Lora shooting straight at the keeper. Munir almost caught Cuéllar off his line though with a shot from the half-way line which bounced off the crossbar, but after the interval it was more of the same, with the locals doing all the attacking. However Halilovic almost won it for the visitors when he hit the upright after a good run, and in the end Sporting had to settle for a third draw in a row and their sixteenth this season. The top five are still six points clear of the rest though after Zaragoza could only draw 1-1 at Tenerife. Maxi Pérez gave the Canary Islanders the lead on the quarter hour mark following an Aitor Sanz corner, but Vallejo levelled the scores early on in the second half following another corner, and after Mario was sent off both teams settled for a point.

The Maños hold on to sixth spot though despite having only won one of their last eight games, seventh placed Ponferradina remaining two points below them after they too drew 1-1 at home to Leganés. The Madrid based side started the match just three points behind their hosts in the rankings, and they went ahead on the quarter hour mark, Eraso turning the ball back into the net after Kepa could only push a long shot from Alvaro García onto the post. Substitute Yuri made it all square though just three minutes after coming on in the second half, the Brazilian striker firing a shot into the net after Sobrino battled through from the right. Llagostera are now level with Ponfe though after they won 0-2 at Racing Santander, the Catalans climbing rapidly up the table having taken 27 points from their last nine games. The visitors took the lead in the thirteenth minute, ex Racing forward Juanjo finishing off after Alcalá played on a Ríos corner. Alcalá was sent off though after picking up a second yellow card on the stroke of half time, but the Cantabrians were unable to take advantage, and Imaz wrapped things up in the last minute after Querol’s shot came back off the post.

Alavés are also just two points behind Manolo Díaz’s side after they beat Alcorcón 0-1 in the last match of the weekend, their first away win since late November. Keepers Javi Jiménez and Goitia were kept busy throughout the ninety minutes, although the only goal came midway through the second half when Jarosik poked an acrobatic shot past the local keeper following a corner. The result takes the Vitoria based side three points above their hosts in the table, and two clear of Numancia, who were beaten 1-2 by Recreativo. Sergi Enrich headed a wide Julio Alvarez free kick past Rubén Gálvez to open the scoring for the Soria based side in the twentieth minute, but Pedro Ríos made it all square on the stroke of half time with a shot from inside his own half which caught Biel Ribas off his line, and with ten minutes to go substitute Caye Quintana ran on to Braulio’s long ball to fire an angled shot past the keeper. A great start for new coach José Domínguez, and the Andalusians climb above Osasuna and out of the bottom four for the first time in almost three months. (05.04.13)

Girona moved up level with leaders Betis pending their game on Sunday after a 2-1 victory over promotion rivals Valladolid on Saturday evening. Aday put the Catalans ahead with an angled shot from outside of the area in the tenth minute, and Mata had a strike ruled out for a questionable offside soon afterwards. Aday and Richy both hit the bar midway through the first half, but Becerra had to keep out Pereira soon afterwards, and with five minutes to go to the break Tulio de Melo made it all square from the penalty spot after Ramalho brought down Hernán Pérez in the area. Eloi restored the lead though with an impressive first time volley from Granell’s corner with twenty minutes to go, and Becerra made another good save from Oscar late on to ensure the win. Girona are now three points clear of Las Palmas, who remain in fourth place after a 1-0 defeat at Albacete. The Manchegans had gone seven games without defeat, and visiting keeper Casto had to make several saves before he was finally beaten by Nuñez on the hour mark following a corner. The Canary Islanders woke up after that, but Hernán and Ortuño missed chances to level the scores later on.

The top five are well clear of the rest, but several teams are in contention for the last play-off spot, Lugo moving to within three points of current incumbents Zaragoza after beating Mallorca 4-0. The turning point of the game came in the tenth minute when Saborit was sent off for pushing over Pablo Caballero in the area, the Argentinian striker firing home the resulting penalty kick. The Galicians took advantage of the extra man to score two more in the next quarter of an hour, Toni connecting with a Dalmau cross to shoot past Cabrero, and Pelayo turning in Pita’s centre for the third. That ended the game as a contest, and Manu added a fourth with a second penalty after Cendrós fouled Caballero again with seven minutes to go. Mirandés lost ground on the teams above them though after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Sabadell, and they ended the day in fourteenth spot. Nauzet had to keep out a Jordi Pablo free kick and Razak had to save from Collantes later in the first half, and Urko Vera hit the post soon after the interval. A point apiece in the end though, and the Catalans stay in bottom spot despite one win and five draws in their last six games. (04.04.15)