|Second Division A - Day 33|
Real Murcia were the only one of the top three to play on Saturday, and they moved closer to a place in the top flight with a 0-2 win at Poli Ejido. Both sides had chances before the break, Pedro Vega and Víctor Salas for the locals and Gallardo and Aranda for the visitors, but the first goal didn't come until a quarter of an hour in to the second half when Iván Alonso beat Kike following Gallardo's free kick. Aranda got the second from the penalty spot after Tena brought him down in the area, and substitute Abel could have got a third when his shot hit both posts before bouncing away.
Cádiz find themselves in fourth spot pending Sunday's games after a 0-3 victory over Las Palmas. After early efforts by Lucas Lobos and Acuña for the visitors, Viyuela and Trashorras both tested Armando at the opposite end. But after the break the Andalusians outclassed their opponents, Miguel García and substitute Jonathan Sesma both beating Nacho González with long shots before Acuña got the third following good work by Pavoni.
Cádiz moved a point ahead of neighbours Xerez, who lost 1-2 at home to Tenerife. Raúl Sánchez opened the scoring on the half hour mark for the Canary Islanders with a shot on the turn, but Ismael equalised a few minutes later, finding the top corner of the net after a good run. Just a minute later though Iriome intercepted a bad back pass from Prieto to restore the lead, and only a couple of good saves from local keeper Chema prevented a bigger defeat.
Elsewhere an injury time Biagini goal saved a point for Albacete in a 2-2 draw with Alavés. Calle missed a first half penalty for the locals, but Zahinos put them in front three minutes after the restart before getting himself sent off for a second bookable offence soon afterwards. Arthuro combined with Jandro to equalise a minute later, and although the visitors were left with nine men after Corominas and Angel were both shown red cards, Toni Moral appeared to have won it when he converted Astudillo's cross before Biagini's late strike. Quique Yagüe was in charge of the Vitoria based side for the first time, Dmitri Piterman's fifth coach of the season. (14.04.07)
Almería are back up to second, ten points behind the leaders and a point ahead of Real Murcia, after beating Ciudad Murcia 0-1 on Sunday lunchtime. Ciudad had not lost at home all season, and Saizar hit the post and had a goal disallowed in the opening minutes. Michel though put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot after Iván Amaya handled in the area. Visiting keeper Valerio saved well from Luque and Ortega after the restart, but Crusat had a goal ruled out and José Juan had to be at his best to keep out Francisco and Ortíz late on.
With nine games still to go, the top three have opened up a massive fifteen points gap over the chasing pack. Valladolid had no problems seeing off bottom club Vecindario, who they beat 3-0, and a draw next week will mathematically guarantee them the quickest promotion from the second division on record. Veteran keeper Alberto, now heading the Zamora chart, did have to make an early save from a Yeray free kick, but Llorente put Medilibar's side ahead on the half hour mark, and Capdevila added a second just a minute after the restart from Vicente's cross. Llorente headed a second later on from a Pedro López centre to move clear at the top of the Pichichi rankings, and the visitors ended with ten men after Suso Ruano was sent off for a foul on Asier.
All the sides below the top three failed to win, including Numancia, who were held to a 2-2 draw by Hércules. The Soria based side took the lead in the tenth minute when Julio Alvarez headed in Nagore's pass, and Palacios and Fukuda could have increased the lead later on. The visitors turned the scoreline around though with two goals either side of half time by Calandria, the first a header from Diego Mateo's centre, and the second from close up after Sendoa crossed in. But Gorka Brit made it all square again with a volley after Ortega set him up, and both keepers made saves after that to ensure that honours were shared.
Salamanca are also all but out of the promotion race after they were beaten 0-1 by Elche. The first chance fell to local forward Braulio, but the visitors went ahead with a Peragón penalty midway through the first half after David Charcos fouled Alfredo. Peragón went close and Raúl Martín hit the post for David Vidal's side either side of the break, but in the end visiting keeper Willy Caballero had to come to the rescue to stop efforts from Carlos Vela and Garai later in the match.
The only real interest now is who will go down, and Lorca kept their slim hopes alive with a 2-0 win over fellow strugglers Real Madrid Castilla. Michel's side could have scored in the first half, Negredo going close and the coach's son Adrián hitting the post. But Palencia got himself sent off with twenty minutes to go after giving away a penalty on Javi Rodríguez, and Ramos converted the kick to put the hosts in front. And with the game coming to a close Yagüe beat Codina at the second attempt after running on to a long pass to leave the visitors two points away from safety.
Málaga kept their heads above water with a 2-2 draw at Ponferradina, who remain in 20th position. An early goal from Baha gave the León based side the lead, but visiting coach Muñiz made three changes in the opening minutes of the second half, and a strike from Hidalgo and a Bornes own goal from Calleja's shot turned the scoreline around. Risso got the finishing touch to Rubén Vega's effort though to save a point for the locals late on.
Sporting Gijón and Castellón inched away from the danger zone after drawing 2-2, although both are still only four points above Castilla. Barral and Diego Castro combined to set up Jairo to score the opening goal for the Asturians with a quarter of an hour gone, but Antonio López picked up a bad clearance by Sastre to equalise before the break, and Natalio put the East coast side in front from a possible offside position after the restart. Omar equalised though with a spectacular overhead kick "a la Ronaldinho" late on to avoid a possible ninth home defeat in the Molinón stadium. (15.04.07)