Second Division A - Day 8

Levante held on to their position at the top of the table after coming from behind to beat Sporting Gijon 2-1 on Saturday evening. The Valencia based side had a disastrous first half and were lucky to only be one down at the break with Sastre putting the visitors ahead from Juan's cross around the half hour mark. But the introduction of Sérvulo in the second half changed the picture, and Rivera levelled the scores a quarter of an hour in after keeper Roberto could not hold on to a previous shot. Cuéllar made it two with a well struck free kick, and only some excellent saves by Roberto prevented his side from losing by a bigger margin.

Levante are now two points above Almería, who kept up their unbeaten record with a 1-1 draw at Las Palmas. Both sides had opportunities in the first half, but it was the visitors who took the lead with a powerful shot from Juanma immediately after the restart. After that the Andalucians sat back to defend their lead, and they did so until twenty minutes from the end when Tomás took a free kick, and Luna headed the ball back past his own keeper under pressure from Crisitian González. Right at the end, top scorer Rubén Castro could have won it for the Islanders, but Cano was there to save.

And as is becoming the custom in the second division, Córdoba and Getafe also drew, this time 0-0, in the third game on Saturday evening. The Andalucians have yet to win a league match this season, and they hardly managed a shot at goal in a first half in which the only action was a save by local keeper Jauregui from Luis López. The introduction of Montenegro at the break improved things slightly, and Aragoneses had to be on his toes to save from Pulpo González soon after the restart. But after that it was back to normal, and Córdoba manager Castro Santos is not expected to last out the week. (18.10.03)

And the draws continued on into Sunday, with the lunchtime game between Recreativo Huelva and Alavés also ending goal-less. Last year these two sides met in the first division, but they seem to have picked up the rhythm quickly and both played a hard, defensive game. All in all there were over sixty fouls, with visiting defender Trotta sent off for a second bookable offence in the second half, and neither side produced a scoring chance worthy of note in the 90 minutes. Even the presence of Alavés midfielder Quique De Lucas, playing his first match now that his transfer papers from Chelsea have been sorted out, could do nothing to change things.

Cádiz won their local derby at Algeciras 0-1 on Sunday evening to stay level with Levante at the top of the table. The 7,000 capacity stadium was packed to the hilt to see the duel between the two newly promoted sides, and the locals started well with Aitor Santos going close. However Manolo Pérez hit the woodwork at the other end as the visitors fought back, and on the stroke of half time it was his cross which was headed in on the far post by Pavoni for the only goal of the game. Visiting keeper Navas had to be at his best though to save a lifted shot from Armentano near the end. It was a first home defeat for the home side, who are now only a point above the bottom four.

Numancia moved up to second in the table, level on points with Levante and Cádiz after a crushing 2-5 victory at Rayo Vallecano. Pineda had put the visitors two up midway through the first half with two headed goals, the first from Juan Carlos Moreno's cross and the second from N'Kome's pass on a quick breakaway. Bolo scrambled one back, but Rayo were left with ten men just before half time when Iriney picked up a second booking. Moreno extended the lead after the restart with a spectacular shot and then set up Manolo Pérez for a fourth before Idiakez pulled one back near the end. There was still time though for late substitute Chota to make it five, handing Rayo their third home defeat this season and leaving manager Julen Lopetegui in a very precarious position.

Elche beat Leganés 1-0, their first home win in almost six months, to move up to seventh in the table. The only goal of the game came halfway through the first half when Toro Acuña, making his first start of the season, beat Leyenda with a strong shot. Moisés could have increased the lead in a first half which the home side dominated, but after the break the tables were turned and the visitors did most of the attacking. Elche had to play the last quarter of an hour with ten men after Zahinos was shown a second yellow card, but Leganés were unable to take advantage and fell to their first defeat of the season.

The other four games on Sunday evening all ended in draws, three of which were without goals. Xerez tied their seventh match this season, this time 0-0 with Tenerife who themselves have now draw six. The first shots at goal did not come until half an hour in to the match, with visiting keeper Alvaro saving from Moreno and Unanua stopping an effort from Rogerinho at the other end. The Andalucians were left with a man short when Bajic was shown a red card two minutes from the end, and Tenerife substitute Barata missed the best chance of the game in injury time.

A 0-0 draw as well between Poli Ejido and Eibar, a match in which an intense rainstorm prevented any constructive play. Visiting keeper Riesgo kept out efforts from Sabino and Sevilla before the break, and stopped another shot from Prats near the end which could have meant a first win in six games for the locals. Eibar had their chances too though, with Garitano, Corredoira and Brit all shooting high and wide, and Manu comfortably stopping the rest.

Ejido stay in twentieth place, a point above Terrassa and Málaga who both drew as well. Terrassa were held to a 0-0 result by Ciudad de Murcia, who had the better of the first half and who could have scored through Güiza and Manel had Morales not stopped efforts from both. The Catalans almost snatched a victory in the last minute though when Molist headed against the crossbar.

There were goals at least in Málaga B's game at Salamanca, one at each end as they recorded the weekend's seventh draw. The Andalucians got the first against the run of play when Puigdollers beat Stelea with a free kick on the quarter hour mark. However they had Robi Merino sent off ten minutes before the break, and Lara had to make first class saves from José either side of half time to keep his team ahead. But Geijo gave away a late penalty when he handled in the area, and Raúl Sánchez stepped up to save a point for Felipe Miñambres's side. (19.10.03)