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Match round-up - Second Division, Day 39

Leaders Betis beat Racing Santander 2-4 on Thursday evening, and they now only need two points in their last three matches for a quick return to the top flight. Sylla headed the locals into the lead with twenty minutes gone, but four minutes later Bruno got on the end of Kadir’s corner to make it all square, and either side of half time top scorer Rubén Castro fired home two more for Pepe Mel’s side following assists from Kadir and Casado. Molina made it four soon afterwards, and David Concha completed the scoring for the Cantabrians later on. Later in the evening Llagostera missed out on a chance to make it into the play-off spots after they lost 2-3 to Albacete, and they remain three points behind sixth placed Zaragoza in the table. The Catalans had gone fifteen games without defeat, but they went two down in the first half an hour, César Díaz and then keko connecting with crosses from Rubén Cruz to beat René. Enric Pi got one back before the break, and Sergio León levelled the scores with a back-header with a quarter of an hour to go, but with five minutes left on the clock René let a soft shot by Keko slip through his hands to give the Manchegans a win which ensures they remain in the second division for another season. After the midweek games Racing, Sabadell, Barcelona B and Recreativo remain in the relegation places, although several clubs including Albacete are struggling financially, and if they can’t resolve their problems they could go down instead of any of the teams in the bottom four. (21.05.15)

A round of midweek games in the second division this week, with Girona moving two points ahead of Sporting Gijón in the fight for second spot after a 0-3 win at Alavés on Wednesday evening. The Catalans have the best away record in the league, and midway through the first half Mata picked up a Pere Pons centre to open the scoring. Some eight minutes into the second half the striker got his second of the evening following a corner, and Sandaza hit the woodwork before Juanlu set up Felipe Sanchón to round things off. Sporting themselves were held to a 0-0 draw at Alcorcón, and they are now just four points clear of Valladolid and Las Palmas, who both won on Tuesday. The Asturians have still only lost twice in the league all season, although they will be regretting that the fact that they didn’t take the three points, especially as Isma López rattled the crossbar with the game already into time added on.

The results mean that the top five are at least assured of a place in the play-offs, with only one spot still open. Zaragoza hold on to sixth place however, even though they were beaten 0-1 by Mirandés, Urko Vera heading the only goal for the visitors from a free kick in the eigfhteenth minute. Ponferradina miss out on a chance to catch the Maños after they lost 1-0 at Mallorca, who themselves ensure another season in the “silver division” as a result of the win. The visitors were up against it after Lucas Domínguez got himself sent off just three minutes into the second half, and Pereira won it later on with a penalty after Yuri fouled Javi Ros in the area. Numancia though are all but mathematically out of the chase for the last play-off spot after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Lugo. Julio Alvarez put the Soria based team in front with twenty minutes gone after a good team move, but Caballero equalized for the hosts early on in the second half to give them a point which basically keeps the Galicians in the second division for another season.

Tenerife are also close to saving themselves after they won 1-3 at Sabadell, the victory taking them seven points above their hosts, who remain third from bottom in the table. The Canary Islanders scored three times in the first half with their only efforts on target, Carlos Ruíz opening the scoring after Nauzet pushed out an earlier shot, and Suso beating the keeper twice more before the interval. Dani Hernández still had some work to do after the restart, but although he was finally beaten by Benja near the end, the goal came too late to change the result. Elsewhere bottom club Recreativo kept their slim hopes of survival alive after they beat Leganés 1-0. In the end it was up to two of their talented youngsters to win the day, Antonio Domínguez setting up Caye Quintana thirty minutes or so in to the second half, although the Huelva based side are still five points away from safety with only three games to go. (20.05.15)

Las Palmas and Valladolid moved to within three points of second spot pending the rest of the midweek fixtures after both won their respective games on Tuesday evening. Las Palmas beat Osasuna 1-2, a result which left the Pamplona based side just two points above the drop zone. Enrique Martín was finally on the bench for the locals after he was hospitalized with angina shortly after taking over from Mateo, but he saw his side fall behind early on when Jonathan Viera beat Riesgo with a shot from the edge of the area in the seventh minute. Vujadinovic headed the equalizer from a Roberto Torres corner some twenty minutes later, but just a minute after that Araujo connected with Angel’s cross to restore the lead for the Canary Islanders. Valladolid meanwhile won 1-3 at struggling Barcelona B on a rainy night in the “Condal city”. The visitors went in front in the twelfth minute when Gumbau deflected the ball into his own net after Oscar headed a Chica cross towards goal. Dobgou levelled the scores after Samper set him up early on in the second half, but Hernán Pérez lobbed Suárez to put Rubi’s side back into the lead, and Jeffren wrapped things up against his old club with ten minutes to go. (19.05.15)