|Second Division A - Day 17|
Whilst the first division registered one of the highest number of goals of the season, the second division produced another low scoring weekend, with only seventeen goals in the eleven ties. That included six draws, and with none of the top eleven sides able to win, the competition for the promotion and relegation spots is even closer than ever.
Leaders Zaragoza are favourites to go back up, and they put an end to Sporting Gijon's run of four wins in a row by holding them to a 1-1 draw on Saturday evening. After a lively first half where both Valencia and Lainez were called into action several times, the visitors took the lead when Juanele won the ball off Chus Bravo to shoot low past the keeper. However Villa equalised from the penalty spot later on after David Pirri brought down substitute Pablo Alvarez in the area, and with Pirri sent off after picking up a second booking in the incident, Zaragoza were happy to hold on for a point.
The biggest game on Sunday was between second placed Levante and fourth placed Murcia, but in the end they cancelled each other out in a dull 0-0 draw. The Valencia based club had not won at home for two months, and missing the suspended Mijatovic they were unable to create chances against a well organised defence. David Karanka and Acciari both wasted opportunities in the first half, but otherwise there was little to inspire the 8,500 crowd.
As it happened the point was enough to keep Levante in second place and take Murcia up to third, ahead of Albacete, who surprisingly lost their first match of the season in their Carlos Belmonte stadium by 0-1 to Oviedo. Only an inspired performance by visiting keeper Jonathan kept out the home side for much of the game, and Oli surprised Roa with a shot from the edge of the area eight minutes from the end to secure a much needed three points and take his side off the bottom of the table. Iván Díaz hit the post near the end and Jesús Perera had a goal disallowed for a borderline offside to round off a frustrating evening for César Ferrando's side.
Elche stay in fifth place despite drawing 0-0 with Eibar. The visitors played their usual ultra-defensive style, and only a header over the bar by Serrano after the break caused any danger for Asier Riesgo in the visitors' goal. Even so, Toni Jiménez had to be at his best as the Basques came out looking for a winner on the counter-attack near the end.
Xerez must be thankful that they have played their last game in the Juventud stadium, where they have been unable to win all season. They lost 1-2 against an improving Almería, a game they should have wrapped up in the first half had it not been for great saves from visiting keeper Barbero from Zárate and Calle and a dubious offside decision which cancelled out a goal by Calle. It was the visitors who took the lead though against the run of play on the stroke of half time when Francisco turned in Juanlu's headed pass. Schuster's side levelled the scores after the break when Dani Pendín scored at the second attempt after Barbero saved his penalty kick, but Almería were themselves awarded a penalty later on, and Bilic too scored on the follow up after Mora had blocked his first kick. Xerez hope to return to the Chapín stadium in Jerez in time for their Wednesday night cup match with Atlético Madrid.
The third scoreless draw of the weekend was at Salamanca, where the home fans suffered again as their side drew with Racing Ferrol. Only twenty-two goals have been scored in their 17 games, twelve in favour and ten against, and with heavy rain falling and the pitch thick with mud, this was never going to be a high scoring game. The referee turned down two penalty appeals in the first half for fouls on Pepe Domingo and Tomás, but Ramis headed a corner against the post for the visitors before the break. Salamanca are still only three points away from the promotion spots though, with their opponents two points behind them in eleventh place.
Terrassa stay level with Salamanca after drawing 1-1 at Numancia. The home side were looking for their second win in a row to take them out of the relegation zone, and Camerooni internationals Suffo and N'Kome went close early on. Octavio finally gave them the lead after the break, following up after Ojeda's shot came back off the post, but the goalscorer gave away a penalty on Cristián near the end which Monty converted to save a point. Visiting manager Miguel Alvarez was sent off later on for a second booking, as was Jaime Molina for the locals.
Poli Ejido lost 0-2 to Compostela, and after five games without a win they drop into the bottom half of the table. The game nearly didn't take place though, with the Gallician players threatening not to travel to the South of Spain after going several moths without pay. They eventually agreed to make the long journey though, and got their reward when Cabarcos ran on to Fabiano's pass to beat Kike. Later in the half Maikel headed home a corner to take his side up a couple of places to sixteenth.
Las Palmas were the big winners of the day, and they moved back up to ninth after a 2-0 win over Badajoz. Zurdo López was in charge of the visitors for the first time (although he was not allowed to take a place on the bench due to an ongoing dispute with a previous coach Rodri), but apart from an early shot against the bar his side were unable to make any progress against a better home side. Rubén opened the scoring with a header after the break, and after Nené was sent off for their opponents, N'Kong finished things off late on.
Tenerife recorded their twelfth draw of the season, 1-1 at Córdoba, thanks to a last minute headed goal from substitute Barata. The locals lined up with two of their new signings Montenegro and Serban in the side, and both had immediate effect, with the Argentine hitting the post with a long shot early in the game and the Romanian bringing a good save out of Valerio a couple of minutes later. Montenegro headed Gorka's cross past the keeper after the restart for the first goal, but in the end they had to settle for a point which leaves them at the bottom of the table.
Leganés climb out of the bottom four thanks to a 2-1 victory over Madrid based neighbours Getafe. The locals took the lead a quarter of an hour in to the game when Sivori bundled the ball into the net after Pindado had saved from Falcón, and Lawal added a second after the break a few minutes before being sent off for a second yellow card. Craioveanu had hit the post a few minutes earlier for the visitors, and they finally got a consolation goal when Vivar Dorado scored with virtually the last kick of the match.