Second Division A - Day 31

Two goals in three minutes late in the first half gave Las Palmas a 2-0 win over Poli Ejido on Saturday evening, keeping their hopes of promotion alive. The visitors started the weekend only two points behind their opponents, and Mazzoni should have put them in front early on. However the rest of the first half belonged to the locals, and after Baiano hit the post, Carmelo set up goals for Pedro Vega and then Rubén. Las Palmas were left with ten men a minute later though when De la Guardia picked up a second booking, and they had to defend after the break. Paco García hit the post and Bo Andersen saved from Luis Gil, but when Rios was sent off for the visitors in the last minute the game was over. The result takes Las Palmas to fifth place, four points behind Zaragoza who play on Sunday.

There were mixed fortunes though for the Canary Island clubs, and while Yosu Uribe's side were winning, Tenerife were being beaten 1-0 by Elche. The East coast side had been going through a bad patch recently, and as the game wore on the local fans began to whistle at their own side. Inspired by Paunovic the visitors took control as the game wore on, but local keeper Aizkorreta made a string of top class saves to keep them out. Rubio made three changes midway through the first half which turned things around though, and after Nino had a goal disallowed, Armentano rose to head a corner past Aragoneses for the winning goal.

Oviedo were within four minutes of picking up their first win in nine games after they came from a goal down at Terrassa to take the lead. However a late strike from Héctor made it 2-2 to save a point for the Catalans. Babangida had put the home side ahead on the hour mark, but goals from Jubera in his own net a quarter of an hour later and then from Sarasúa gave the Asturians hope of moving off the bottom of the table. It was not to be though, and Oviedo are now six points away from safety with all of Sunday's games to come.

The fight for the second division promotion spots is a little more open after none of the top three sides managed to win. Leaders Murcia were beaten 2-0 by Xerez on Sunday lunchtime, a first defeat in eight games for David Vidal's side. Honours were shared in the first half, with Zárate having a goal disallowed for the locals and Maciel hitting the post at the other end. But Bernd Schuster's side struck twice in the last twenty minutes of the game, the first when Zárate converted Moreno's cross and then when Mendoza beat Reinke near the end, to move up to fifth in the table, six points off the top three.

Leganés dropped to sixteenth after they were beaten 0-3 by direct rivals Córdoba, who move two points above them in the table. Montenegro opened the scoring for the visitors at the second attempt shortly before the break, and Gorka García got a second midway through the second half immediately after Webó hit the bar at the other end. The Madrid based side were left with a man short when Fede Marín was shown a red card two minutes later, and Montenegro finished them off in the last minute with his second goal of the night.

Second placed Albacete missed out on the chance to take over at the top after they were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Salamanca on Sunday evening, but they at least closed to within a point of Murcia. The Manchegans dominated the game from start to finish, but visiting keeper Stelea was on inspired form, saving from Perera and Siviero twice before the break, and an Alvaro free kick in the second half. When the keeper was beaten the defence was there to clear from Perera, and when Munteanu missed an easy chance near the end both sides settled for a point. Albacete are now unbeaten for 14 games, and Salamanca drop to within three points of the relegation zone having not won now for nine matches.

The winners of the weekend were Zaragoza, who beat relegation candidates Almería 0-1. Their new young star Cani got the only goal in the first half following a corner, taking his side up to third spot. Things didn't go all their way though, and keeper Lainez had to be on his best form in particular to keep out efforts from Jorge Pérez and Ortiz late on. Kolmjenovic could have increased the lead though with a header after the break, and Espadas hit the post a few minutes later. Almería stay in nineteenth place, but are now two points away from safety.

Levante drop out of the top three after losing 3-2 at Sporting Gijon. The Asturians took the lead through Lozano in the twelfth minute, and Pulido almost made it two when he hit the bar later in the first half. Both sides had penalty appeals turned down before the break, and Pablo Alvarez put the home side further ahead after the restart from Villa's cross. Canterero took off Amato to bring on Congo, and the ex Real Madrid striker gave the Valencia based side hope with two goals late in the match to level the scores. But with the crowd already starting to leave the ground, Villa scored the winner from a free kick right at the end.

Racing Ferrol sank further down into the relegation spots after they were defeated 4-2 by Numancia. The joy of their first win in 18 games last week was short-lived, as Pacheta gave the home side an early lead. The Soria based side were left with ten men before half time when Marini was sent off, but even so they scored three more times after the break, the first two from penalties converted by Aranda and Fagiani and then a long run by Miguel Pérez. Pezzarossi pulled two goals back in four minutes, but the referee ended their hopes sending off Rambier for a second booking and then Raúl López for an attack on Pacheta.

Badajoz sacked their manager for the third time this season after losing 0-2 to Compostela. Zurdo López was replaced by Paco Miranda after another defeat took his side further into the relegation zone, and they have now only picked one win in the last nine games. Maikel did the damage with a goal in each half, the first on the stroke of half time from a Pinillos cross and the second midway through the second half after Fabiano set him up.

Eibar and Getafe edged away from the danger zone after drawing 0-0. The home side were on a roll after three wins in a row, and looked like they were on for another victory when Chiqui was sent off for the visitors five minutes before the half time interval. However Pindado saved well from Uranga and Garitano, and the Madrid based side dfended well to earn themselves a point.