Second Division A - Day 16

Second placed Eibar were beaten 0-2 by Gimnastic Tarragona on Saturday evening, their first home defeat of the season. After a draw and a defeat in their last two games, the Basques had lost their momentum, and they were dominated in a first half in which Pinilla and David Cuéllar both went close for the visitors. For a brief while after the restart they did come back, Llorente forcing a good save out of Juanjo Valencia, but Iván Anía won a penalty for the Catalans on the hour mark which Pinilla converted, and five minutes later the hosts were left with ten men when Moisés picked up a second booking. Cuëllar finished things off in injury time with a second goal for Nàstic, who move safely into mid-table after their third win in a row.

Xerez moved back up to the top three pending Sunday's games after a 1-0 win over Sporting Gijón, their first victory in five games. Both keepers were in action early on, Sporting's Roberto saving from Mena and Julio Iglesias stopping an effort from Ismael at the other end. The goal didn't come though until ten minutes after the restart, when Roteta connected with Mena's corner to score. A last ditch tackle by Francis on Ismael prevented the visitors from equalising later on, but Lekic could have increased the lead when his effort hit the bar soon afterwards.

Tenerife and Racing Ferrol cancelled each other out in a 1-1 draw on a rainy Saturday night in the Canary Islands. There was little action until the hosts were awarded a penalty close to half time after Tena brought down Keko, Fagiani converting the kcik to put his side into the lead. Hidalgo could have made it two after the restart, but Flavio Barros came on as substitute and almost immediately equalised with a header from a Carlos cross. Bermejo thought he had given the Galicians the lead when his shot bounced down off the bar and appeared to cross the line, but the referee waved play on. And Keko headed against the bar at the other end a few minutes later as the match finally got going. (11.12.04)

Cádiz moved three points clear at the top of the table after a 0-1 win at Valladolid on Sunday lunchtime. The visitors dominated the play in the opening few minutes without causing too many problems for Bizzarri, but they were pushed back from there on and visiting keeper Armando had to be at his best to keep out shots from Aduriz and Figueredo (amongst others) either side of half time. The Andalusians first shot at goal didn't come until the hour mark when Pavoni finally tested Bizzarri, and Sousa wasted another chance to put the hosts ahead before Jonathan Sesma cut in to the home side area and fired in a shot which his namesake Jonathan deflected into the net ten minutes from the end.

Later in the day Alavés also won 0-1 at Poli Ejido to hold on to third spot. The windy conditions made play difficult, but both sides had chances early on, Pedro Vega failing to find the target for the locals and Bodipo just unable to force a De Lucas corner into the net. The turning point came though just before the break when local keeper Kike was sent off for a foul on Rubén Navarro. The Vitoria based side took advantage to score early in the second half through Bodipo after Nene and Navarro combined to set him up, and after that they held on to ensure the three points. Ejido drop into the bottom half of the table having now gone nine games without a win.

Elche stay in fourth position, just a point behind Alavés, after beating Málaga B 2-1. The visitors started well, but they were gradually forced back into their own half as the game progressed. After a string of chances, Moisés opened the scoring on the stroke of half time, heading home Azkoitia's centre, and Rubén Suárez added a second ten minutes after the restart with an individualist goal. The visitors came back later on after the hosts slowed the game down, Calderón almost catching Unanua out of his goal with a lob which the keeper scrambled away. But Iván Hernández headed home the resulting corner to set up an exciting last seven minutes.

Lleida moved back up to sixth after they beat Almería 1-0, ending the visitor's nine game unbeaten run. Nakor could have put the Catalans ahead early when he failed to beat Valerio and Stankovic hit the bar with a free kick shortly before the interval. And ten minutes in to the second half Txema headed what was to be the only goal of the game from another Stankovic free kick. The visitors had only caused problems from high balls to Nanni, although Galca did bring a good save out of Eduardo later on. But Valerio had to stop a late effort from Oscar García which could have increased the gap between the two sides.

Celta failed to keep up with the leaders though after they drew 2-2 at Ciudad Murcia, although it could have been worse after they went two goals down in the first half. Güiza put the home side ahead from the penalty spot with a quarter of an hour on the clock after the referee ruled that Contreras had deliberately handled a shot from his Chilean colleague Ubeda, and it was Güiza again who won the ball in midfield and set up Toni González to make it two just five minutes before the break. The visitors got one back before the half time whistle though with another controversial penalty after Juan Sánchez fell under a challenge from Edu Serrano, Jandro converting the kick. And Vryzas saved a point for his side fifteen minutes from the end after a mistake by Serrano and keeper Javi Fernández.

Down at the bottom of the table, Córdoba picked up their sixth point of the season with a 0-0 draw against Salamanca, although it was not enough to stop them slipping even further away from safety. It was a dull match with very few scoring chances for either side throughout. The locals had most of the play, but Felipe Miñambres side had the better chances on quick breakaways in the first half, Robert charging down a clearance by Sebas which almost bounced back into the goal, and then bringing a good save out of the keeper before half time. Córdoba's only real chance was a shot by Bilic near the end which Tom saved without too many problems.

The two sides immediately above Córdoba, Pontevedra and Real Murcia, played each other at the Pasarón stadium and seemed to be heading to a scoreless draw until the visitors got an injury time goal to win the game 0-1. The Galicians had the better of the match but could not convert their chances, Charles hitting the post in the twentieth minute and shooting over the top on the stroke of half time with the goal at his mercy. Murcia threw on extra forwards near the end, and got their reward when young full back Varela headed home a corner in the 91st minute. The defeat leaves Pontevedra in next to bottom spot, having gone nine games without a win and yet to take the three points at home.

A first half strike from Rodri gave Terrassa a much needed 1-0 victory over Recreativo Huelva, taking them away from the danger zone. The defender headed home a corner on the half hour mark, just a few minutes after Quique Martín had come close to scoring with a corner which bounced off the crossbar. Those were the only attempts on goal in the first half though from the Catalans, who had keeper Morales to thank for keeping them ahead after he made two or three vital saves from Uche. There were few chances for either side though after the restart as the local defence closed ranks. (12.12.04)