Second Division A - Day 40

Zaragoza and Albacete won promotion to the first division without playing a game this Saturday after fourth placed Levante lost 1-0 to Racing Ferrol on Saturday evening. The result left the Valencia based side eight points adrift of their two rivals with two games to go, and gave a lifeline to Racing who ended the weekend theoretically out of the bottom four as they have a better head-to-head record than Almería. Méndez came close to giving the Gallicians the lead in the first half when his shot hit both posts, but Jofre could have scored for the visitors after the break when he too struck the woodwork. Veteran striker Cuéllar hit the winner though near the end of the game, and Levante's Castaño was sent off after getting involved in a scrap with local employees while trying to put the ball back in play quickly.

Meanwhile leaders Murcia were unable to wrap up the second division title after losing 2-1 to Tenerife. David Vidal's side started the weekend six points clear of their rivals, but were left wanting by a Canary Island team who had little to play for other than pride. Corona headed the locals in front from Hidalgo's corner early in the first half, and Murcia didn't get a shot on target until just before half time when Tito hit the bar. Aragoneses saved well from Lasa in the second half before Ismael headed an equaliser from Albiol's cross. But with the visitors on top, Kiko Torres steered a header past Reinke for the winning goal near the end.

It was good day for the Canary Island sides, with Las Palmas also taking the three points in a 0-1 victory at Numancia. Neither side had anything to play for, and the 3,000 crowd was the smallest at Las Pajaritos stadium all season. Lima got the only goal midway through the first half in a goalmouth scramble following a corner, and young keeper Orlando kept out everything the locals could throw at him after the interval.

Getafe made mathematically sure of staying up with a 2-0 victory against Poli Ejido. The man of the match for the locals was Michel, who hit the bar early on and set up Vivar Dorado for the opening goal in the last minute of the first half. Michel added the second himself with a header in the second half to take his side up to ninth in the table. The visitors are only two points behind them in eleventh place, but with sides bunched together at the bottom they are still only four points off the relegation zone.

Leganés took a big step towards staying up after they beat relegation rivals Almería 0-2, and they rise up the table to fifteenth, two points above their hosts who are bordering on the edge of the drop zone. Once again it was Calandria who saved the day, the young Argentinian putting the visitors ahead in the fourth minute after Miguel Angel's free kick had hit the post. Almería were left with ten men on the half hour mark when Juanlu picked up a second booking, and Calandria scored a second on the stroke of half time from Sivori's cross. The locals ended the game with nine players after Ortega was also sent off three minutes before full time.

Eibar slipped further into trouble, and although they saved a point in the last minute with a 1-1 draw against Sporting Gijon, victories for most of the sides around them meant that they are now third from bottom in the table. Although the home side had more possession than their opponents, the Asturians were always the more dangerous. Juan rattled the crossbar from a free kick in the first half, and Dani Borreguero put them ahead after the break when his long free kick caught young keeper Riesgo off guard. The Basque side levelled the scores though in the last minute with a Romo penalty after Sastre handled in the area, but it was not enough to save the head of manager Blas Ziarreta, who was fired a couple of days later.

Zaragoza and Albacete celebrated their promotion to the first division with a 1-1 draw on a hot Sunday lunchtime. There were scenes of euphoria from both sets of fans knowing that their teams were going up, and the game was played in a festival atmosphere. Both keepers were kept busy in the first half, Roa getting a hand to Soriano's shot and Valbuena saving at the feet of Duré later on. Yordi put the home side in front with a spectacular header on the hour mark, but Basti made it all square ten minutes from the end after taking a pass from Peña. The home side could have won it though if Roa had not saved a late penalty from Soriano, but the 30,000 happy spectators didn't mind.

A battle royal to avoid relegation in the second division, where three points separate eight sides with two games to go. Badajoz are definitely down though after losing 2-3 to Elche, and they end a run of eleven years in the "división de plata". Santamaría put the visitors ahead as early as the third minute, but goals either side of half time by Leandro and then Cidoncha turned the result around. The joy of the home fans was short-lived though, as Nino made it all square again three minutes later, and then scored a winning goal later in the second half to keep his side three points above the drop zone.

Oviedo are almost certain of joining Badajoz in the second division B after a disappointing 0-3 defeat against Salamanca. The visitors struck the first blow midway through the first half when Nan Ribera beat Jonathan with a shot from outside of the area after the defence failed to clear. Antonio Rivas threw on an extra forward at the break for the Asturians, but Cacá caught them on a quick counter-attack to score a second, and Pepe Domingo added a third shortly after Oli was sent off for a second bookable offence.

A last minute goal gave Córdoba a 1-2 victory at Compostela, a result which keeps the Andalucians out of the relegation zone on goal difference over Ferrol and Almería. The Gallicians took the lead against the run of play when Adriano headed home Lima's free kick on the stroke of half time, but Ramzi levelled the scores on the hour mark with a centre-come-shot, and Alfonso scored the winner in injury time with a long shot which keeper Oliver let through his hands into the net. The game was overshadowed by complaints from a Compostela player that he had received a phone call from someone claiming to represent his opponents offering money for his side to lose. The win was a great result for new manager Castro Santos.

Terrassa stayed two points above the bottom four after beating managerless Xerez 2-0. Caretaker manager Manolo Ruiz was in charge of the visitors after Bernd Schuster reached an agreement to leave the club midweek, but his side were no match for the Catalans who desperately needed a win to keep them afloat. Gibanel opened the scoring with a free kick shortly before half time, and Navas headed a second in the second half from a corner, a few minutes before he was sent off for a second yellow card. Xerez's only real effort was a shot from Deus which hit the bar late in the game.