|Second Division A - Day 42|
The last weekend of the season in the second division, with the only issues at stake who will go down and who will come up from the second division B. All that was decided on Sunday, but there were four games on Saturday night where teams with nothing to play for decided to start their holidays a day earlier. Curiously, all four ended in away wins.
Second placed Zaragoza waved farewell to the second division with a 1-3 defeat at the hands of Salamanca. Yordi gave the home side the lead, heading home Corona's cross on the half hour mark, but Roberto Fresnedoso made it all square on the stroke of half time with a low shot which beat Lainez. The visitors wrapped things up with two goals on the counter-attack after the break from Raúl and Pepe Domingo to make it nine games without defeat and four wins on the trot.
Levante made sure of fourth spot with a 1-2 win against already relegated Oviedo. The visitors scored their goals either side of half time, Sérvulo heading the first before the break and then setting up Congo for the second soon after. Twenty minutes from the end Raúl got on the end of an Idiakez corner to narrow the gap, but their hearts were not in it and they crashed to their fourth defeat in a row. The match was played in Aviles as Oviedo were serving out a one match ground closure for crowd trouble earlier in the season.
Xerez finished off their season with a 1-4 victory at Numancia, and have now scored nine goals in two games since manager Bernd Schuster agreed to leave the club. The Andalucians took the lead through Del Pino in the sixth minute, but Sestelo equalised two minutes later after Ojeda set him up. Mena restored the lead though for the visitors later in the half, and after Marini hit the post, Del Pino made it three during the first half injury time. Substitute Julio Pineda got a fourth in the second half to ensure sixth spot for his team.
Sporting Gijon won 0-3 at bottom club Badajoz, who were already relegated and who lost for the fifth game in a row. Pulido headed the first shorlty before the interval and made it two soon after the restart, and Ismael rounded things off with an individualist goal in injury time. Before the match there were protests against club president Antonio Baradas.
The last two relegation spots were decided on the final Sunday of the season, with six teams in with a chance of the drop before the games kicked off. Racing Ferrol needed a minor miracle to save themselves though, and they hardly put up a fight as they fell to a 0-1 defeat at the hands of Tenerife. Only an effort by Uche early on which Valerio saved gave them any hope, and substitute Willy ended their three year run in the second division with a goal on the counter-attack a quarter of an hour from the end. As it happened, even a win would not have saved them given the other results on the day.
Leganés were the other team to go down after they were beaten 2-0 by Terrassa, who could have been relegated themselves if they had lost. The Catalans took the lead in the eighth minute through Navas, Lawal only succeeding in helping the ball into the net as he tried to clear on the line. And four minutes in to the second half Cristian got a second, much to the relief of the local fans. The sending off of Juan Carlos later in the second half complicated matters, but by then Leganés needed a win to save themselves, and when Calandria struck the bar it was all over.
Eibar started the day in the relegation spots, but they saved themselves with a 2-0 win over an Albacete side who were already promoted and who lined up with many reserve players in their side. Two weeks ago the Basque side looked as if they were on their way down for the first time in sixteen years, but a change of manager has made all the difference. Even so, it was not until well into the second half that Miguel got the opening goal, and only when substitute Jorge Sánchez scored from the penalty spot twenty minutes from the end did the fans relax.
Almería avoided any problems with a 1-1 draw against neighbours Poli Ejido, a game which was plagued by fighting between rival fans. The match only came to life in the second half when the visitors took the lead, Aira heading a Luis Gil corner powerfully past Rubén Falcón in the Almería goal. But after a couple of scares, Luna got the goal the locals wanted to be sure of staying up. Ejido's Marcelino was sent off for a second bookable offence in the last minute.
Córdoba were also in with a remote chance of relegation had Leganés won or drawn, but in the end were saved the trouble by Terrassa's win. Just to make sure though some 2,000 fans travelled to Getafe to see their side draw 1-1 and take another valuable point. Montenegro put them into the lead on the half hour mark after Moisés headed the ball on, but Alberto made it all square soon after the break following a mistake by Garrido. As news filtered in from other grounds, the players relaxed and played out the remaining minutes with calm.
Elche had just managed to save themselves the week before, but they rounded off one of their worse ever seasons with a 4-1 defeat at Las Palmas. It was the last game at the old Insular stadium for the Canary Island side before moving on to their new ground, and Reggi and Maceratesi celebrated in style, putting the home side two goals up by the break. Trotta headed Baiano's free kick past Ginés for a third after the restart, and Orlando added a fourth from the penalty spot after Bornes was fouled. Arnal did head a consolation goal for the visitors in injury time, but by then it was too late.
One other game took place on Sunday with nothing at stake, champions Murcia being beaten 1-0 by Compostela and thereby failing to beat the record number of 82 points set by Alavés four seasons ago. The only goal of the game came ten minutes in to the second half when Maikel picked up a pass from Lima to score. The Gallicians were safe some time ago from a footballing point of view, but now have to find money to pay their outstanding debts to players by the end of July, otherwise their efforts would have been in vain and they will be relegated in place of Leganés.