Second Division A - Day 32

With nobody wanting to miss the big match between Real Madrid and Barcelona on Sunday evening, four games were brought forward to Saturday night. Cádiz kicked off the day with a 1-1 draw at Málaga B, a result which ensures they stay in second place by the end of the weekend. An estimated 6,000 visiting fans made the short trip along the South coast, matching the number of home supporters, and they saw their side take the lead in the fifth minute when Fleurquín headed home a corner. Abel came close to equalising though later in the first half, De Quintana clearing one shot off the line and Armando saving another, and soon after the restart he beat the keeper with a well struck free kick to level the scores. The visitors were left with ten men on the hour mark when Enrique was shown a second yellow card, and after that Víctor Espárrago pulled his men back to defend the point.

Racing Ferrol beat Salamanca 0-2 to move away from the danger zone and leave their opponents once again just two points above the bottom four. The Galicians got off to the best possible start when top scorer Mario Bermejo bundled the ball in to the net from Juanito's cross in the first minute of the game. The home side were looking to build on a run of three home wins in a row under new coach Andoni Goikoetxea, but they hardly managed a shot at goal in all the first half, and only a header from Gorka Brit after the restart caused any problems for Bello Amigo. And with ten minutes to go a shot from Tena from inside his own half caught keeper Tom off his line and dropped in to the net to wrap things up.

Meanwhile Tenerife and Gimnastic Tarragona played out a dull 0-0 draw, the fifteenth time that the Canary Islanders have shared the points this season. The better chances in the first half fell to the locals, Cristo having a penalty appeal turned down and Keko shooting wide with the goal gaping in front of him. Iván Anía went close with a free kick at the other end though, and Alvaro had to be at his best to keep out Sergio Francisco before the break. Tenerife could have won it in the second half, Tortolero clearing another effort from Keko off the line with keeper Valencia beaten, and Cristo firing a shot against the bar. But in the end both sides settled for a point which leaves them safely in mid-table.

Relegation candidates Córdoba and Real Murcia drew 1-1 in the last match of the evening, a result which leaves both of them a step closer to the second division B. The Andalusians got off to a good start, Jonay almost beating Juanmi with a wide free kick, and they took the lead on the quarter hour mark after Villa got on the end of another Jonay free kick which bounced through the goalmouth. Acciari headed against the post as the visitors came out looking for the equaliser, and after a period of pressure in the second half Casuco's side got the goal they wanted when Varela headed a long cross past Saja. It was a serious blow for Córdoba's caretaker manager Juan Carlos Rodríguez, who took over from Crispi after he was sacked earlier in the week. (09.04.05)

Three more games were brought forward to Sunday lunchtime, including the fixture between Poli Ejido and leaders Celta which the Galicians won 0-3 to extend the gap at the top to five points. Fernando Vázquez's side never looked back after Jesús Perera gave the lead in the tenth minute, and Jandro got a second five minutes later on a rapid counter-attack. Toedtli, Paco García and Jacobo all tried their luck either side of half time but without really troubling Pinto, and Canobbio almost beat Carlos Sánchez at the other end soon after the restart. Vryzas came on for Capucho but only lasted ten minutes or so before being sent off for a second bookable offence, but even with ten men the visitors added to their lead when Canobbio picked up a pass from Sava to beat Sánchez in the last minute.

A good win for Eibar as well, the Basque side holding on to third spot after beating Terrassa 2-3. The Catalans put up a good fight though and equalised twice before Garitano struck the winner ten minutes from the end. Maikel wasted a couple of chances to give the locals an early lead, and they paid the price when Varela put the visitors ahead shortly before half time. Maikel did take advantage of an assist from Jesús Muñoz to head home an equaliser just a minute after the restart, but Eibar went ahead again after a defensive mix-up. Héctor heading the ball back over the head of Morales to score into his own net. Juan Carlos had a chance to level the scores after Moisés was adjudged to have handled in the area, but he fired the resulting penalty over the bar, and both sides were left with ten men when Charcos and Llorente were sent off for fighting soon afterwards. Rodríguez thought he had saved a point for the home side though when he beat Iraizoz following a corner, but Garitano's late strike left the hosts back down in the bottom four.

There was an away win as well for Recreativo, their 0-1 victory at Elche taking them clear of their opponents and up to fourth spot in the table. The visitors got off to a good start but were soon pushed back into their area, and only some excellent goalkeeping by Luque kept the scores level at the break. The keeper was in action again after the restart to turn Nino's effort away for a corner, but soon afterwards Recre got what was to be the only goal of the game after Txiki slipped when attempting to pass back to Caballero, Aitor nipping in to beat the keeper with a low shot. The Andalusians pulled back to defend again after that, and when Zárate's late free kick brushed the crossbar it was all over. (10.04.05)

Alavés are back in the running for promotion after winning 0-1 at Xerez on Sunday evening. The locals were looking for a first win in six games and came out strongly, Bonano having to save from Del Pino and Camuñas crashing a long shot against the crossbar. But the Vitoria based side held them off, and Sarriegi headed just wide at the other end on the stroke of half time. Camuñas and Lekic both had chances for the locals after the break, but gradually they ran out of steam, and the visitors started to win back control. And with ten minutes to go Sarriegi latched on to a loose ball in the area to beat Tete and give his side the three points, taking them up to fifth, level on points with Recreativo and three behind Eibar.

Valladolid kept their hopes of promotion alive with a 2-0 win over Sporting Gijón which takes them up to sixth, albeit still seven points off the top three. Once again the presence of 5,000 visiting fans swelled the crowd, but they were disappointed to see their side fall behind when Oscar Sánchez volleyed home a cross from Jairo Castillo with just under a quarter of an hour on the clock. Worse was to come as Cristian Díaz got himself sent off for protesting too strongly to the referee about a possible offside of Castillo, and three minutes later Figueredo intercepted a bad throw out by keeper Roberto to fire the ball back in to the net. After that Marcos Alonso's side settled back to defend their lead, and a good performance by keeper Bizzarri ensured that they recorded a second win in a row since their new manager took over.

Almería's new coach Paco Flores also got off to a good start with a 0-1 win at relegation rivals Ciudad Murcia, a result which takes them above their opponents and Terrassa and out of the bottom four. The visitors got off to a good start when Ibán Espadas beat José Juan with a shot on the turn in the twentieth minute, and Ortíz could have made it two when he hit the crossbar just a couple of minutes later. Valerio kept out a header from Gibanel at the other end later in the half, but Espadas could have increased the lead soon after the restart with a shot which went just wide. Güiza thought he had equalised near the end though when he headed the ball in to the net, but much to the disgust of the local fans the referee ruled out the strike for a borderline offside.

Meanwhile Pontevedra thrashed nine-man Lleida 5-0 to record their third win in a row and move off the bottom of the table to the detriment of Córdoba. The Galicians took the lead early on after a short free kick, Alves's shot bouncing past everyone in to the net. The visitors were left with ten men on the quarter hour mark when Crusat was sent off for kicking Charles, and Santos joined him in the dressing room soon after the restart after picking up a second yellow card. After that the locals ran riot, Javi Rodríguez charging down a hesitant clearance by Rangel to score the second and Changui making it three a few minutes later. And Juan Jesús and Capdevila got two more in the last five minutes for the final scoreline, which takes the hosts to within seven points of safety. (10.04.05)