Second Division A - Day 25

It has been carnival week in Spain, and there was a festival atmosphere as fourth placed Cádiz took on third placed Almería. And in the end honours were shared in an exciting 2-2 draw. Ortíz gave the visitors the lead on the half hour mark after Mané crossed in from the wing, but debutant Buades equalised before the break from a wide free kick which caught Westerveld off guard. Pablo Hernández had a goal disallowed on the stroke of half time, and Domingo got himself sent off for the visitors in the first minute of the second half. Pablo Hernández did put the locals ahead a quarter of an hour later, but a minute afterwards Ortíz headed home his second of the night to save a point for his side.

Ciudad Murcia moved up level with Cádiz on points after beating neighbours Lorca 2-1. Goitom opened the scoring when he lobbed Jauregui midway through the first half, and the Swedish striker added a second just three minutes after the restart after intercepting a bad back pass to run on and score. Maikel got one back for the visitors with a quarter of an hour to go, but when Rueda was sent off for a second bookable offence it was all over.

Hércules are just three points behind Ciudad both though after recovering from a goal down to beat Tenerife 3-1. Oscar Pérez put the Canary Islanders ahead with a quarter of an hour gone after Frankowski cleverly stepped over Iriome's cross, and Moisés missed a penalty close to half time after a foul by Manolo Martínez. Marmol finally equalised though with twelve minutes to go after Bernardo saved from Sendoa, and substitute Piti gave the Alicante based side the lead on a breakaway four minutes from the end. With the game in injury time Hércules were awarded a second penalty after Culebras fouled Calandria, and this time Moisés didn't fail.

Albacete's come back continued with a 1-0 win over Real Madrid Castilla, their first victory in the Carlos Belmonte stadium since mid October. There were few chances at either end though before the goal, which came six minutes from the end when Biagini finished off after Bauzá headed on Calle's cross. Negredo went close in the last minute, but he couldn't prevent another defeat which leaves Michel's side just two points above the relegation spots. (17.02.07)

Valladolid came back from two down to beat Poli Ejido 2-3 on Sunday lunchtime and extend their lead at the top of the table to seven points. Arano put the locals ahead with a cross come shot which Alberto could only help into the net, and Ortíz got the second soon afterwards after the keeper could only push out a strike from Paco Esteban. But Alvaro Rubio pulled one back with a shot from outside of the area twenty minutes in to the second half, and Víctor levelled the scores after Kike saved from Chema ten minutes later. Then with the game coming to an end Arano tripped Manchev in the area, and Víctor converted the resulting penalty to make it nineteen games now in the league without defeat.

Later in the evening Real Murcia consolidated second spot with a 0-1 victory at Castellón, who stay in the drop zone as a result. The locals were on top for most of the game, with Pignol clearing off the line from Natalio and Notario saving from Antonio López in the second half. But Aranda combined with Antoñito for ex Sevilla striker to score twenty minutes from the end, and that was enough for the victory.

Numancia moved up to fourth after beating Málaga 2-0, their third victory in a row taking them to within four points of the top three. Fukuda opening the scoring, controlling Juanra's pass before beating Arnau on the half hour mark, and the Japanese striker had a second goal ruled out at the start of the second half. Moreno finished things off from the penalty spot in the last minute after Schurrer pulled him down in the area.

Salamanca finally got their first victory in 2007, a sixth minute strike from Arpón giving them a 1-0 victory over Xerez. Arpón, Braulio and Jorge Pina could all have added to the lead, but in the end keeper Felip had to keep out a last minute effort from Luque to ensure the three points, their first home win since mid November.

Alavés kept their slim hopes of promotion alive with a 5-1 win over bottom club Vecindario. Controversial president Dmitri Piterman sacked coach Fabri before the game after he refused to change the starting line up, but then reinstated him,. Astudillo got the first early on after Keleman saved from Arthuro and Wellington, but Xisco equalised on the stroke of half time with a twice taken penalty after Elton Giovanni handled in the area. Toni Moral took advantage of defensive mistakes to score twice in the second half though, and De Lucas and Aloisi set each other up for two more in the last three minutes.

Elsewhere Sporting Gijón and Elche drew 0-0, the first time that the Asturians have shared the points in their Molinon stadium all season. The best chances fell to the home side, although they had to play all the second half with ten men after keeper Roberto was sent off for handling outside of the area on the stroke of half time.

There was a goal-less draw as well between Las Palmas and Ponferradina, a result which left the visitors in next to bottom spot and just kept the Canary Islanders out of the relegation places. Both keepers were in action early on, Rubio saving from Viyuela and Juanma and Pindado stopping Raponi, but apart from a disallowed goal by Ponfe's Nacho after the restart there were no further clear cut chances. (18.02.07)