Second Division A - Day 29

Second placed Eibar failed to capitalise on their early start when they were held to a 0-0 draw by Tenerife. Kicking off on Saturday evening, the Basque side were unable to find the way past a well organised defence, their only chance in the first half coming from Kike Mateo, with Jesús Vázquez replying with a wayward header at the other end. Visiting keeper Alvaro Iglesias saved well from Varela just a minute after the restart, and the Uruguayan forward wasted another opportunity a few minutes later. The Canary Islanders were looking to score on the breakaway, but only an effort from Cristo Marrero caused any problems for Iraizoz, and even when Eibar were left with ten men near the end after Cifuentes picked up a second booking they didn't take any risks.

Alavés closed back up to within a point of the top three after beating Racing Ferrol 2-1, their second win in a row after going six game without picking up a point. The Vitoria based side started strongly, Bodipo forcing a good save out of Bello Amigo and Téllez hitting the bar with a free kick before Nené and Carreras combined to set up Rubén Navarro for the opening goal. Navarro almost got a second just seconds after the restart, and when the visitors were left with ten men after Cobas was sent off for a tackle on Sergio Santamaría the locals appeared to be hime and dry. Epitié finished off a good move by De Lucas for a second goal, but top scorer Mario Bermejo pulled one back two minutes later to set up a nail-biting finish.

Recreativo missed out on a chance to move up into the top three, for 24 hours at least, after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Andoni Goikoetxea's Salamanca, and they ended the weekend level on points with Alavés. The hero of the match was visiting keeper Tom, who kept out the Recre strikers throughout the match, in particular making important saves from Azkorra and Uche in the second half. Salamanca's only real chance came early on when Rogerio shot just wide, and after Mario was sent off for a second bookable offence ten minutes from the end they shut up shop completely.

Valladolid drop further behind the leaders after they were beaten 2-0 by Lleida, a defeat which could signal the end for coach Sergio Kresic. The Catalans had lost their last three games, but they started well and Bizzarri had to be on his toes to keep out an effort from Nakor in only the second minute. With half an hour on the clock Pelegrí got on the end of Dorado's free kick to head his side into the lead, and Crusat could have increased the lead before the break had the referee not ruled out his strike for hand ball. Nakor took advantage of a defensive mistake after the restart though to wrap things up and leave the visitors five points off the promotion spots pending Sunday's games. (19.03.05)

The table-topping clash on Sunday lunchtime ended with third placed Cádiz beating leaders Celta 0-2 to get their promotion campaign back on track. The Andalusians had gone four games without a win, and with their opponents stringing together seven victories in a row and unbeaten at home this season, they came to the Balaídos stadium as underdogs. But they held their own in an even first half, and took the lead on the hour mark when De Quintana followed up from close range after Oli had headed Enrique's free kick against the crossbar. Vázquez threw everything forward, but with the game in the last minute local keeper Pinto was sent off for deliberately stamping on an opponent, and with central defender Sergio taking over the goalkeeper's jersey, Manolo Pérez drove home the resulting penalty.

An extraordinary result in the other game which kicked off at mid-day, Xerez losing 3-5 to Ciudad Murcia in a match in which referee Ayza Gámez awarded four penalties. The visitors raced into a three goal lead midway through the first half, Güiza starting things off from the spot after Roteta handled in the area. Luciano headed a second from Dani Bautista's cross, and Aguilar made it three with a second penalty after he himself had been fouled by Etxave. Mena levelled the scores with a hat-trick though, pulling one back before the break from a Camuñas pass and then getting two penalties after the restart, the first after Pedro brought down Lekic and the second after Raúl Pérez handled. But new signing Joao Paulo came on to score twice for the visitors with shots from outside of the area and give his side three points which keeps them just outside of the relegation spots. (20.03.05)

Xerez drop to ninth, just a place above Sporting Gijón who beat Poli Ejido 1-0 later in the day. The Asturians were on top throughout but couldn't take their chances, Pablo Alvarez having an effort cleared off the line early on and Calandria shooting just wide of the post soon afterwards. Pedro Vega almost caught out Roberto on an isolated counterattack later in the half, and Vucko and Vega could have scored after the break. But otherwise the home side dominated, and after Ismael tried to beat keeper Kike himself with colleagues better placed to score, Pablo Lago finally got on the end of Alvarez's cross to head home what was to prove the winning goal ten minutes from the end.

Just when they thought they were safe, Real Murcia find themselves back in the bottom four after losing 0-1 at home to Málaga B. The two sides started the day level on points, Casuco's side having just climbed out of the relegation spots the week before for the first time in over a year. But despite efforts from Carrera and Varela in the first half they were unable to beat Goitia, and just a couple of minutes after the restart Paco Esteban found the back of the net with a shot from outside of the area. Jesús Gámez came close to making it two before Esteban was sent off for a second bookable offence, but even so Bakero's side kept out a barrage of shots to take away three very valuable points.

Terrassa climb out of the relegation zone above Murcia after beating bottom club Pontevedra 1-0, a result which puts an end to their run of five games without a win. The visitors were the better side in the first half, with Rubén Reyes hitting the bar from a free kick, and the local players where whistled off the pitch by their fans at half time. But Rodri, Maikel and Bordas all missed chances to put the Catalans ahead after the restart before Maikel latched on to a Juan Carlos pass to beat Moso a quarter of an hour from the end.

Almería stay in the bottom four though after drawing 2-2 at home to Elche, who move back up to fourth in the table as a result. Visiting striker Nino was to prove a nightmare for the hosts, testing Valerio in the opening action of the match before beating the keeper with a shot on the turn on the quarter hour mark. Acasiete equalised five minutes before the break following a corner, but only a minute later Nino restored the lead for the Yosu Uribe's side. Things looked grim for the locals when Sahnoun was sent off for a second bookable offence and their manager Fabri was also shown a red card for protesting. But Ibán Espadas levelled the scores again with a twice taken penalty after Ortíz was fouled in the area, and Elche also finished with ten men after Noguerol also picked up a second booking near the end.

Finally Córdoba seemed to be heading for a vital win at Gimnastic Tarragona in their battle to survive, but a last minute goal from the Catalans made it 1-1 in the end. Either side could have scored before the Andalusians took the lead five minutes prior to the interval when Marco turned Marc Bertrán's cross into his own net. Bertrán himself was sent off though a quarter of an hour from the final whistle for a hard tackle on Igor Angulo, and with the game coming to an end substitute Diego Torres latched on to Cuéllar's headed pass to beat Saja and save a point for the home side. (20.03.05)