Second Division A - Day 17

Leaders Numancia could only draw 1-1 at Alavés on Saturday night, and although they are now two points clear of Málaga, they could be off the top by tomorrow. Both goals came early on, Gabri heading the locals into the lead in the ninth minute after Astudillo and Angel Sánchez combined to set him up, and Del Pino heading the equaliser midway through the first half after a hesitant defence let him through. After that though the only real chance came when Toni Moral shot just wide of the post at the start of the second half, and both sides finally settled for a point.

The distance between the Soria based side and third placed Sporting Gijón remained the same though after the Asturians also drew 1-1 at Salamanca. Urged on by 5,000 visiting fans, Sporting started well, with Diego Castro hitting the bar early on. But with just under a quarter of an hour on the clock the locals went ahead following a Quique Martín corner, the referee putting it down as a Michel own goal after Zé Tó had got a touch. Michel made up for it though on the stroke of half time, getting on the end of a long ball to poke a shot past Pagola to level the scores, and that was how it stayed.

Fourth placed Elche could have overtaken Sporting, but they remain two points behind after throwing away the lead to lose 2-1 at Eibar. Visiting coach David Vidal had to leave the ground soon after kick off after news came through that his father had died, and he missed Raúl Martín scrambling his side ahead following a corner on the half hour mark. Just a minute later though Bile Medina headed home another corner at the other end to make it all square, and Altuna got the winner for the Basque team after Del Olmo set him up with a quarter of an hour to go.

Drama down at the foot of the table, with next to bottom side Albacete saving a point in a controversial 1-1 draw at Córdoba, the referee having to abandon the game with a couple of minutes still left after violent protests from the home supporters. If anything the visitors had the better of a dull first half, with two penalty appeals turned down, and it was not until Javi Moreno came on after the break that the deadlock was broken, the veteran striker picking up a pass from Arteaga to beat Valbuena. But with the game coming to an end Barquero equalised with a hotly disputed last minute free kick, the fifth time this season that the Andalusians had thrown away the lead in the dying minutes. It was too much for the fans, and the disciplinary committee must now decide if the result stands or not.

The point (assuming that it is confirmed as such) keeps Albacete above Las Palmas, who were a goal up at Poli Ejido, but who ended up losing 3-1. The Canary Islanders had not lost for three games, and they went ahead when David González's long shot took a deflection off a defender in the eleventh minute. Juli volleyed home the equaliser though from Juan Díaz's cross midway through the first half, and the locals scored twice in the last five minutes to win it, Pedro Vega beating Nacho González from outside of the area and Curro Vacas rounding things off in injury time. (15.12.07)

Sevilla Atlético moved back up to fourth in the table after a 2-0 win over Gimnàstic on Sunday lunchtime, their first victory in five games. Both sides had chances early on, Salva Sevilla testing Roberto and Alfaro going close, and Maldonado and Miku both failing to find the target at the other end. But with ten minutes to go to half time Pablo Sánchez got ahead of Mingo to put the locals ahead. Javi López threw on all his fire power, but with the game coming to an end Perotti and Vara combined for Juanjo to wrap things up. Nàstic find themselves just places above the drop zone after five games without a win.

Málaga were unable to catch Numancia after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Hércules later on Sunday evening. They were thankful for even that though after they equalised thanks to a last minute own goal. The Andalusians began each half well, with Gámez and Wellington going close in the opening minutes and Hidalgo and Salva testing Unai Alba soon after the restart. But after that they ran out of steam, and with ten minutes to go César latched on to a loose ball to give the hosts the lead. With the game coming to an end though César's fellow central defender Sergio Fernández headed past his own keeper trying to clear a long free kick, saving a third draw in a row for López Muñiz's side.

Real Sociedad are only three points away from the promotion spots after coming from behind to beat Granada '74 1-2. Luque caught out Riesgo with a shot from just over the halfway line with only ten minutes gone, but Delibasic headed against the post at the other end before firing home the equaliser for the visitors midway through the first half. The Andalusians came back, with Crespi hitting the post, but they were left with ten men when Ruz was sent off for a two footed tackle close to half time. Even so the game appeared to be heading for a draw until substitute Díaz de Cerio fired home the winner for Chris Coleman's side in the final minutes.

Real ended the weekend level with their opponents and three other teams, including Hércules, Tenerife and Celta, who lost ground on the leaders after they were beaten 3-1 by Cádiz. Canobbio felt himself unlucky not to have a penalty as the visitors dominated the first half, but with an hour on the clock Dani picked up a bad clearance by Rubén to open the scoring. Jesús Perera equalised ten minutes later when he headed a free kick on past Contreras, but three minutes later Dani took advantage of a slip of concentration by Pinto to win the ball off him and score his second of the night. And with the game coming to an end Lobos set up Gastón Casas for his side's third, taking them safely up to mid-table.

Tenerife won 2-1 against a Racing Ferrol side who drop into the bottom four after eleven games without a win. Oscar Pérez scored early on for the Canary Islanders with a shot from the edge of the area following a long throw, but Pereira levelled the scores just three minutes after the restart after Medina headed on Cohen's corner. With an hour gone though Nino got on the end of Oscar Pérez's pass to send a looping header over Queco Piña and give his side their second victory in a row, something they hadn't been able to achieve all season up to now.

The Galicians are still three points above Xerez though after Casuco's side lost 1-0 to Castellón, who themselves climb away from the danger zone as a result. Carlos Calvo had an early goal disallowed after the referee ruled that the visiting midfielder had handled in the build up. And the locals didn't give Porató too many problems until the fifth minute of the second half, when Arana got on the end of Zamora's cross to score what was to be the only goal of the game. Zamora was sent off for a second bookable offence in injury time, but the game ended soon afterwards. (16.12.07)

PS. The disciplinary committee upheld the 1-1 scoreline from the abandoned Córdoba vs Albacete match, handing a €3,000 fine to the home side for the crowd trouble, but deciding not to close the stadium on promise of good behaviour.