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Match round-up - Second Division A, Day 33

Las Palmas are back up to second in the table after a 2-0 victory over promotion rivals Girona on Sunday lunchtime. The Canary Islanders started the day three points behind their opponents, but with only two minutes on the clock Araujo connected with a David Simón cross to turn a shot past Isaac Becerra. Mata went close a couple of times for the visitors, and Culio and Nauzet tested Becerra again before the break, and midway through the second half ex Girona striker Ortuño picked up Culio’s centre and turned a shot past the visiting keeper to wrap things up. Paco Herrera’s side overtake the Catalans and Sporting Gijón thanks to a better goal difference, but with Valladolid only two points below them the race for the second of the direct promotion spots is still wide open.

Betis opened up a six point gap at the top though after they came from behind to beat bottom club Barcelona B 1-2, and they are already looking good for a quick return to the top flight. Some 9,000 visiting fans outnumbered the local supports by three to one, but they saw their side go behind in the second minute following good work by Adama, Sandro scoring on the second attempt after his first shot came back off the bar. However a quarter of an hour later Dani Ceballos equalized with a shot from outside of the area, and keepers Suárez and Adán had to make important saves before Jorge Molina picked up a cross from Molinero to fire home the winner with twenty minutes to go. The top five have opened up an eight point gap over the rest, but only three points separate five teams from sixth placed Zaragoza to tenth placed Leganés. Zaragoza stay in the play-off spots for another week despite their draw on Saturday, but Ponferradina are now level with them in the table after a 0-1 victory at Recreativo. Manolo Díaz’s side should have taken the lead early in the second half when they were awarded a hotly disputed penalty for a foul by Corcoles on Pablo Infante, but Rubén Gálvez saved Infante’s spot kick. Corcoles and Fernando Vega were both sent off later on though, leaving the home side with nine men, and with two minutes to go Yuri got the winner after picking up a return pass from Acorán on a quick breakaway.

Leganés themselves stay in touch with the play-off spots after a 2-0 win against Albacete. The visitors were unbeaten in eight games, but they went behind midway through the first half when Dorronsoro came out of his area to a long Morán clearance and only succeeded in heading the ball back for Chuli to hook a shot into the empty net. Soon afterwards Keko had to clear a Diamanka shot off the line with the keeper beaten, and with just over half an hour gone Chuli made it two from the penalty spot after Antoñito brought down Aguiire in the area. Numancia drop three points behind the Madrid based side however after they drew 1-1 at Osasuna. The locals were left with ten men from the seventeenth minute onwards after Cedrick picked up a second booking for diving in the area, and a few minutes later Raoul Loe had a strike ruled out for a questionable offside. Shortly before half time Vicente put the visitors ahead after Natalio laid the ball back, but Nino connected with Sisi’s cross some five minutes in to the second half to save a point which takes the Pamplona based side out of the bottom four. (12.04.15)

Sporting Gijón are back up to second spot pending Sunday’s games after they drew 1-1 at sixth placed Zargoza on Saturday evening. The result was probably inevitable right from the start, the Asturians having drawn half of their 32 games this season and their hosts only four less, and the match was fairly even throughout. Pedro hit the crossbar as the Maños had the better of the first half, and Dorca gave them the lead after Borja headed on Pedro’s free kick some ten minutes after the restart. Just two minutes later though Isma López made it all square after Alcolea could only push out Carmona’s cross, and the forward hit the post soon afterwards. Abelardo’s side were left with ten men when Alex Menéndez was shown a second yellow card midway through the second half, but even so they could have won it had Pérez and Guerrero been able to convert late chances. Valladolid meanwhile moved back to within two points of Sporting after a 2-1 victory over Mirandés. Rubi’s team had fallen behind the top four after losing their last three games, but they wrapped things up with two goals in as many minutes midway through the first half, the opener from Roger (returning after a six month injury lay-off) with an angled shot, and the second from Oscar, ably assisted by Hernán Pérez. However half time substitute Juanjo took advantage of a shaky defence to get one back just a couple of minutes after coming on, and there were some nervous moments for the home fans before the final whistle.

Zaragoza hold on to the last play-off spot for the time being, although several teams are closing in on them, including Alavés, who are now just two points below Popovic's team after a 1-0 victory over Tenerife. Both sides have been on good form recently, the locals with five home wins in a row and the Canary Islanders with eight games without defeat, and there were chances at both ends before Lanzarote cut in from the right to fire a shot over Dani Hernández on the stroke of half time. The visitors could have saved a point though had Laguardia not cleared off the line from Abdón Prats with keeper Goitia beaten late on. Alavés are now level on points with Llagostera, who were held to a 0-0 draw by Alcorcón. The Catalans had gone nine games without defeat, and they had a chance to take the lead on the half hour mark when Chema gave away a penalty on Querol, the defender getting himself sent off in the incident for a second bookable offence. However Javi Jiménez saved the Ríos spot kick, and local keeper René had to make important stops from Verdés, David Rodríguez and Oscar Plano either side of half time to ensure a point for his team.

Lugo lost ground on the chasing pack though after they were beaten 2-1 by Sabadell, and they ended the day five points off the top six. The Galicians went in front in the tenth minute, Toni picking up a pass from Manu to beat Nauzet, but just two minutes later Cristian García equalized with an impressive first time volley following a corner. In the first minute of the second half however the locals were awarded a penalty after Pavón blocked a cross with his arm in the area, and Aníbal stepped up to convert the spot kick for a first win after five draws in a row. Sabadell move off the bottom of the table as a result, two points above Barcelona B and level with Recreativo, Osasuna and Racing Santander, who (with the best goal difference of the four) are out of the relegation spots for 24 hours at least following a last gasp 2-3 victory at Mallorca. Quique González headed in Saúl’s cross to give the visitors an early lead, and although Xisco equalized midway through the second half after his first shot came back off the bar, Alvaro restored the lead minutes later after Alberto Riera gifted him the ball. Xisco made it all square again though following an Arana corner with two minutes to go, but with the game in injury time new signing Mamadou Sylla intercepted a bad Cendrós back pass to score the winner. (11.04.15)