The promotion race was thrown wide open this weekend after the top two teams both lost on Sunday. Leaders Leganés were beaten 0-1 by Tenerife in the last game of the weekend, leaving them just a day short of going a whole calendar year without a defeat in their Butarque stadium. Javi Lara got the only goal with a well struck free kick midway through the second half, although the Canary Islanders could have won by a bigger margin had Vitolo not fired a penalty against the upright after César Soriano fouled Suso in the area later on. The Madrid based side stay three points clear at the top however after Alavés lost 3-1 at neighbours Osasuna in this Sunday’s mid-day game. Raúl García latched on to a rebound to put the visitors in front early on, but a few minutes later Mora was sent off for giving away a hotly disputed penalty on De las Cuevas, and Roberto Torres drilled home the equalizer from the spot. And before half time Torres set up Urko Vera and then Nino for two more to take his team to within three points of their opponents in the table.
Other than Osasuna though, none of the other promotion contenders took advantage of the slip-ups of the leaders, Córdoba now down to fifth after they were beaten 1-2 by Lugo. The Galicians went two up within the first half hour, Carlos Hernández heading in a corner, and Pablo Caballero combining with Iriome and Jonathan Pereira for the second. Florin got one back on the hour mark with an individualist effort, but the visitors closed ranks for a win which keeps them safely in mid-table. Nàstic had a chance to move up to third, but a 1-1 draw against struggling Ponferradina meant that they ended the day outside of the play-off spots all together. The visitors took the lead with only two minutes on the clock when Xavi Molina headed Aguza’s centre in to his own net, but some four minutes after the interval Naranjo connected with Mossa’s cross to beat Dinu and save a point for the Catalans.
Ponfe are now two points above Mallorca, who drop below Almería into the relegation zone after a 3-0 defeat at next to bottom club Llagostera. Juanjo got the opener for the locals on the half hour mark after Chumbi’s shot was blocked. And after the restart Pitu made it two with a well struck free kick before Juanjo beat Wellenreuther again minutes later to take the Catalans to within five points of their opponents in the table. The islanders still have a game in hand however as they visit Huesca next Wednesday for a fixture rescheduled from week 27. Huesca themselves will start that match three points clear of Mallorca after they beat Alcorcón 1-0, Jesús getting the only goal in the twenty-seventh minute, the midfielder beating Dmitrovic with a shot from outside of the area. (13.03.16)
For the second week in a row, third placed Oviedo missed out on a chance to move up to the direct promotion spots after they lost 2-4 to Valladolid on Saturday night. Once again the top two were playing the following day, but the Asturians went behind when Roger intercepted a poor Peña back pass to set up Juan Villar for the opener on the quarter hour mark. Five minutes later Koné levelled it after Borja Valle laid the ball across, but just three minutes after that Villar headed in a Tiba centre to restore the lead, and Roger ran on to score the third with only half an hour gone. An injury to local keeper Esteban brought on Rubén Miño, who was only on the park for two minutes before Villar beat him to complete a hat-trick, and although Edu Bedía and Peña combined to set up Koné again, the gap was too big for Sergio Egea’s side to get anything back.
Zaragoza are up to within a point of Oviedo after a last minute 1-0 victory over Albacete earlier in the evening, a result which cost the job of visiting coach Luis César Sampedro, who was fired soon after the game finished. The visitors though were the better of the two sides up until then, Portu and Paredes failing to convert the best chances, but in the fourth minute of injury time Sergio Gil headed on a Hinestroza cross, and the ball deflected in to the net off the boot of Paredes. The Maños stay two points above Elche, who closed back up on the play-off spots after a 1-2 win at Mirandés. The two teams started the match level in the table, but with half time approaching Kijera gave the locals the lead with a shot which deflected off a defnder past Javi Jiménez. However despite having Noblejas sent off for a second bookable offence, the visitors came back with two strikes by top scorer Sergio León to tie up the three points.
Further down the table Almería moved close to escaping the drop zone after they beat Girona 1-0, albeit that the two teams directly above them, Mallorca and Huesca, still have two games in hand. Quique got on the end of a Pozo cross to head what was to prove the only goal on the quarter hour mark, and they held on to hand the Catalans their first defeat in eight games. Bottom club Bilbao Athletic appear to be doomed though after they lost 3-2 at Numancia, the result leaving them nine points away from safety. Villalibre did give them the lead early on, but either side of half time Julio Alvarez crossed in for Alex Alegría to head the equalizer, and then scored two himself, the second from the penalty spot after Luis Valcarce was fouled. Pedraza was sent off soon afterwards and Guarrotxea got anther one back with a second penalty, but it came too late to save the result. (12.03.16)