Second Division A - Day 41

Real Madrid Castilla are down despite a 3-1 victory over second placed Almería after their two closest rivals picked up the points they needed. Adrián gave them hope with the opening goal in the fourth minute, and Rodri was sent off for the visitors, Negredo connected with Mata's cross to make it two on the half hour mark. Mata added a third with a shot from the edge of the area a minute after the restart, and Alberto got one back a couple of minutes later following a free kick for the visitors, who ended with nine men after Soriano was also shown a red card. The win was all in vain though as the other results came in, and the young players left the field in tears.

Alavés started the weekend four points above Castilla, and although they began their game against already relegated Lorca badly, they came back to win 1-2. Gorka García latched on to a loose ball to put the locals ahead five minutes before the break, and for over half an hour Piterman's side were just a point above the drop zone. But Jandro took advantage of a mistake by the defence to level the scores with twenty minutes to go, and four minutes later Pablo Casar headed in a cross to keep his team in the second division for another season.

Málaga were also mathematically not safe, but a late goal from Antonio Hidalgo saved a 1-1 draw against neighbours Cádiz. Hidalgo was the only one who created any chances in the first half, bringing two good saves out of Limia, and Chengue Morales shot straight at the keeper soon after the restart. But Acuña caught them unawares with an impressive shot from the edge of the area midway through the second half, and nerves were frayed beofre Hidalgo got on the end of a Morales cross to save the day.

Four other games on Saturday evening, with third place Real Murcia being held to a 1-1 draw at bottom club Vecindario. Xisco fired a shot over the top for the locals in the opening seconds, but a minute later Adrián Martín put the visitors ahead. Murcia's Cuadrado was sent off though twenty minutes from the end, and Xisco equalised a couple of minutes later after Mario Prieto set him up. The result, coupled with Almería's defeat, means that Valladolid are assured the second division title.

Meanwhile Ciudad Murcia were playing their last home match before their move to Granada for next season, and they ended in style, tying up fourth spot with a 4-2 win over Las Palmas. The match kicked off at the same time as the three relegation games as, although the Canary Islanders were safe, they could have ended up in a three way tie which would have influenced the particular goal average between the sides involved. But the visitors were not in it as Ciudad raced into a four goal lead by half time, Gibanel opening the scoring after Nacho González could only block Goitom's shot and Goitom getting the second from the penalty spot after he himself was fouled. Amaya made it three with a second penalty after a defender handled in the area, and Rafita got the fourth on a counter-attack. Darino scrambled one back after the restart and Juanma got a second a few minutes later, but by then the unhappy fans were more interested in throwing false bank notes at the outgoing owner, Quique Pina.

An entertaining match between Poli Ejido and Sporting Gijón, with the home side running out 4-1 winners. Pedro Vega fired them into the lead on the half hour mark, and Ortíz headed the second on the stroke of half time after Alejandro could only push out Vega's shot. The Asturians were left with ten men when Jairo picked up a second booking after the break, and Jonathan Soriano got a third after Usero set him up with six minutes to go. Omar got one back from the penalty spot after Karanka was fouled, but Soriano scored his second of the night right at the end.

Elche also ended their home campaign with a win, youngster Calderón getting the only goal in the last minute with an overhead kick as they beat Castellón 1-0. Both sides had chances before the break, but after the restart the locals dominated, visiting keeper Oliva making top class saves from Coelho, Doménech and Gastón Casas before Calderón finally broke the deadlock. (09.06.07)

Valladolid came in to their match on Sunday knowing they already had the second division title sewn up, but they continued to rewrite the record books with a 4-2 win over Albacete which takes them on to 85 points. Víctor scored a hat-trick to move to within two goals of Márquez at the top of the Pichichi table, although he also picked up a booking which will prevent him from playing the last game. The veteran striker won himself a penalty midway through the first half and added two more either side of half time, both from assists by Chema who was playing his last match in the Zorrilla stadium. Youth international César Díaz had headed the visitors into the lead from Peña's cross in the seventh minute, and Calle and Sisi got one each for their respective sides in injury time.

Ponferradina said goodbye to the second division in their Torralín stadium with a 4-1 win over Hércules. Ramírez started things off with a strike in the twelfth minute, and Rubén Vega added two more with shots from outside of the area fifteen minutes before and five minutes after the interval. Calandria hit the bar at the other end before Montenegro struck one back, but Moisés got himself sent off and Risso took advantage to head a fourth for the Castilla-León side from Fran's cross near the end.

Xerez and Numancia played out a fairly meaningless 1-1 draw, with both goals coming from the penalty spot. Fukuda got the first for the visitors on the quarter hour mark after the Japanese forward was brought down by Pedro Largo, but David Narváez and Camuñas both hit the woodwork for the locals before David was brought down by Jaio, allowing Mendoza to level the scores with fifteen minutes to go.

Tenerife beat Salamanca 1-0 for their first home win after four defeats in a row in the Heliodoro Rodríguez López stadium. Caretaker coach Toño Hernández was in charge for the first time after taking over midweek form the sacked Casuco, and he saw his side win thanks to a goal on the hour mark from Ayoze. Carlos Vela almost put the visitors ahead a few minutes earlier though with a run "a la Messi" which ended with his shot just missing the post, but his side's challenge ended when Raúl Gañán was sent off for a second bookable offence later on. (10.06.07)