Second Division A - Day 37

Leaders Murcia virtually booked their place in the first division with a 0-2 win at Córdoba on Saturday evening. David Vidal's side opened up an eleven point gap over fourth placed Levante, and with five games to go they are en route to returning to the top flight for the first time since 1989. David Karanka opening the scoring shortly before half time, following up after Richi's shot hit the bar, and Richi got the second goal himself on a rapid counter-attack right at the end of the game. It took some good goalkeeping by the second division's best keeper Reinke though to stop efforts from Moisés and Gracia after the break, and it was not until local defender Berruet was sent off for a second bookable offence that the visitors could relax.

Albacete hold on to third place, although they drop further behind the leaders after being held to a 1-1 draw by Compostela. César Ferrando's side were up against it from the twentieth minute when right back Pedro was sent off for a second bookable offence, and they did well to hold on to half time. However the manager reorganised his lines after the break, and Jandro put them ahead with a low free kick which visiting keeper Oliver misread. The Gallicians equalised though ten minutes from the end, a charged down clearance falling kindly to Corredoira who laid the ball across for Cabarcos to score.

Las Palmas and Levante, two of the sides chasing the top three, cancelled each other out in a 1-1 draw. It was an open game with Rubén hitting the bar for the home side and Descarga and Amato going close at the other end early on. Reggi opened the scoring around the half hour mark, heading Carmelo's cross past Aizpurúa, and Duda equalised after the restart with a shot from outside of the area. Congo had a goal disallowed for hands and Rubén hit the woodwork again as both sides tried for the three points. It was a disappointing start though for José Gómez, who had taken over from Cantarero as caretaker manager for the visitors during the week.

Relegation candidates Racing Ferrol came close to taking the three points from Poli Ejido, but had to settle for one as local substitute Mazzoni made it 1-1 only three minutes from the end. Cuéllar had given the visitors the lead from the penalty spot after Cañas had handled in the area with a half an hour on the clock, and they fought tooth and nail to conserve the advantage until the Argentine striker beat Bello Amigo with a long shot. It was too much for home team manager Paco Herrera, who got himself sent off for a second booking in injury time.

Almería climbed out of the bottom four, for twenty-four hours at least, after beating Elche 0-2. Cervián gave the visitors the lead in the tenth minute from a free kick, and although Armentano hit the post with a header before the interval, Francisco made it two with a second half penalty given away by Velasco. Almería draw level on points with their opponents, who now find themselves down in the relegation battle having only picked up one point out of a possible twelve.

Zaragoza beat Xerez 1-3 on Sunday lunchtime to stay a point behind the leaders and keep up their challenge for promotion. Soriano gave them the lead from the penalty spot against the run of play when Cani was brought down by Mendoza in the first half, and both sides could have scored soon afterwards, Zárate hitting the bar from a corner for the locals and Mora making a brilliant save from a Galca free kick at the other end. Young striker Espadas wrapped things up though with two goals in the first quarter of an hour of the second half, and although Calle pulled one back with another penalty later on, the result was never in doubt. The defeat leaves Bernd Schuster's side in fifth place, nine points adrift of the promotion spots.

A goal by Geni at the beginning of the second half was enough to give Oviedo a 0-1 win over fellow strugglers Leganés and keep them on track for a miraculous escape. The home side had dominated the first half, with Lawal and Miguel Angel both going close. But Geni took advantage of a loose ball following a corner to establish the lead, and although Lawal hit the bar with a free kick soon afterwards the Madrid based side were unable to beat an excellent Jonathan. Oviedo's David Cano was sent off after picking up a second yellow card, but when Jonathan kept out an effort from Villa it was all over.

Salamanca made fairly sure of their presence in the second division for next season with a 2-1 win against Tenerife, moving level on points with their opponents in the top half of the table. They were caught sleeping though in the first minute when Quique Torres found Paunovic for him to put the visitors ahead, and they could have been two down after Paunovic and Alexis went close before the break. Vucko levelled the scores though three minutes into the second half, the Croatian striker celebrating his return to the side after a three month lay off for injury after Aragoneses made a hash of a clearance, and Roberto Fresnedoso gave them the three points with a goal ten minutes from the end.

Sporting Gijon and Getafe are also a little closer to safety after they shared the points in a dull 0-0 draw. The only goalmouth incidents came in the first half, local keeper Valencia saving well from Estevez and Segovia wasting the best chance for the Asturians when alone in front of Pindado. The fans started to boo both sides in the second half as neither took any risks, and many had gone home when the final whistle went. Neither are 100% sure of survival though, and even Getafe in seventh place are still only ten points above the relegation spots with five games still remaining.

With things so tight at the bottom, Eibar find themselves fighting for survival after losing 1-0 at Numancia. They are now only thee points above the bottom four having lost their last three games, and have a life or death fixture with Elche next week. The only goal of the game came five minutes before the half time interval, Miguel Pérez having the easiest of tap-ins after Aranda crossed from the right. The win takes the Soria based side safely up to eleventh place.

Badajoz were held to a 1-1 draw by Terrassa and found themselves in bottom spot at the end of the weekend, albeit only one point below Oviedo, Ferrol and Leganés and four away from three other teams. With the visitors languishing near the relegation zone it was a nervous game, with the home side on top in the first half. The Catalans played better after the break even though they had Besora sent off on the stroke of half time, but the locals opened the scoring when Zafra took Xavi Moro's pass to score. Rodri equalised though seven minutes from the end after Cristian's free kick hit the post to keep Terrassa four points above the relegation spots.