Second Division A - Day 25

A five minute hat-trick from Paunovic in the middle of the first half gave Tenerife a 1-3 away win at Zaragoza on Saturday evening. The Yugoslav striker left home side manager Paco Flores on the edge of destitution with a cracking shot, a diving header from Dani's cross and a chip past the keeper around the half hour mark of this match, which was played on Saturday night. Jesús pulled one back a quarter of an hour from the end with a close range header after Yordi nodded back Soriano's cross, but the fans still called for the manager's head. This was Zaragoza's first home defeat of the season, and although they are still assured of fourth place, they lose more ground on the leaders. Tenerife's fifth win in a row takes them, temporarily at least, above their neighbours Las Palmas into fifth place, four points behind today's opponents.

Badajoz stay down in the bottom spots after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Salamanca in the only other game on Saturday. The side from Extremadura thought they were on the way to victory when Mantecón set up Teixeira to beat Stelea five minutes from the end. The visitors had a Cacá goal disallowed for offside two minutes later, but then Redero headed an injury time equaliser past Baines to save a point for the Castllians.

Two goals from the second division's top scorer Jesús Parera gave Albacete a 1-2 victory at Elche on Sunday lunchtime to take them to first place in the table. The on-form striker gave his side the lead against the run of play after Azkoitia failed to clear a cross shortly before the half time interval. Raúl Ivars levelled the scores after the break, but Perera restored the lead three minutes later with a spectacular shot from over 30 yards out which went in off the crossbar, his sixteenth league goal of the season. Elche hit the post near the end, but Parera could have completed his hat-trick moments later. Draws for Murcia and Levante later in the day meant that Albacete move two points clear at the top.

Getafe moved a little closer to safety after a 3-1 Sunday morning win over struggling Racing Ferrol. Home side manager Pepe Mel packed his side with forwards, but they went behind in the first minute when keeper Pindado turned Uche's cross-come-shot into his own net. Diego Rivas made it all square before the break, but Mel brought on Craioveanu and Copito early in the second half, and Copito took advantage of a hesitant defence to put his side ahead a few minutes later. With the game going in to injury time Uche had a chance to level the scores, but his shot was cleared off the line and seconds later Craioveanu wrapped things up with a third goal for the Madrid based side.

Last week's leaders Murcia drop a place to second after drawing 1-1 at Almería. Many of their fans made the relatively short journey South, but they were disappointed to see their side dominated early on, with Reinke having to be at his best in front of Bilic and Francisco. Isach hit the post for David Vidal's side late in the first half, but Olivares finally put the locals in front on the hour mark following Patri's corner. Almería were left with ten men though when Luna picked up a second booking, and substitute Setvalls headed a late equaliser from Ismael's free kick to save a point.

Levante also came from behind to draw 1-1 at Eibar and hold on to third spot, just behind Murcia on goal difference. The early pressure came from the locals, who packed the midfield to smother any counter attack from their opponents. Ten minutes in to the second half they got their reward, Serriegui heading home Lediakhov's corner, and they could have gone two up when Miguel hit the post soon afterwards. Canterero threw on extra forwards though, and in the last minute Amato scrambled home an equalising goal which left their opponents on seventeen points, only one above the drop zone.

Curiously the three teams relegated from the first division last year are occupying the fourth, fifth and sixth positions, just below the promotion zone. Las Palmas drop a place to sixth behind Zaragoza and neighbours Tenerife after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Sporting Gijon. Reggi opened the scoring for the locals against the run of play, getting on the end of Baiaino's free kick to head past Valencia, and the visiting keeper made a great save soon afterwards to prevent Orlando from extending the lead. Lozano levelled the scores on the stroke of half time with a shot from close up, but Reggi headed his second of the night, this time from Pedro Vega's free kick, to put his side back in front. A third headed goal by Pulido from Dani Borreguero's free kick made it all square again though, keeping the visitors four points behind their opponents.

It was once again a day for draws in the second division (isn't it always), with seven matches ending all square. For once though none of them were goal-less, and in fact only one side, Terrassa, failed to score. They were beaten 0-4 at home by a Córdoba team who have taken thirteen points from their last five games to climb away from the drop zone. Three of the goals for the Andalucians came from their new signings, with Berruet coming in for his first start to head the first and Serban getting a second before the break. Montenegro added a third with a free kick after the restart, and Gorka García made it four with just over an hour gone. The Catalans ended the game with ten men after Héctor was sent off late on, and they ended the weekend in ninth spot.

Poli Ejido took advantage of Terrassa's slip up to move above them to seventh after a 2-2 draw at Numancia. The visitors raced into a two goal lead within the first half hour, Luis Gil scoring in only the third minute from Tevenet's cross, and Tevenet scoring the second himself from the penalty spot after Gil was brought down by Jaume. The Soria based side were awarded a penalty themselves three minutes later when the referee ruled that Rios had fouled Ojeda, Rosu converting the kick, and after substitute Lindbaek had gone close with a header, Miguel Angel Nuñez saved a point with a late strike.

Xerez stay level with Ejido on points after they too drew 2-2, in their case at home to Leganés. The scoreline followed the same pattern as Poli's game, with the visitors taking a two goal lead before the home side reeled them in. Lawal scored the first in the opening minute of the game after Miguel Angel's free kick was blocked, and added a second with a free kick early in the second half which a defender deflected past keeper Mora. The Andalucians pulled one back though with a Pineda penalty after Moreno was fouled, and Selu equalised two minutes from full time to win a point. Xerez have still to win since their return to the Chapín stadium though, and club president Gil Silgado is apparently thinking of sacking manager Bernd Schuster if things don't improve.

Bottom club Oviedo decided to remove their manager Vicente González Villamil after being held to a 1-1 draw by fellow strugglers Compostela, and their technical director Miguel Sánchez was named as his replacement. The Gallicians took the lead on the half hour mark through Juanito after Cabarcos laid back Aguado's cross, but half time substitute Geni forced the ball into the net with a bit of help from Vojvoda after the break for a point which does little to improve either team's position in the table. The Compostela players return home glad to have saved the draw, but having not been paid now in seven months they are reaching breaking point and could refuse to turn out for their next game.