|Second Division A - Day 14|
Leaders Xerez threw down the gauntlet to the chasing sides with a 3-1 win over Elche on Saturday evening. The visitors had gone six games without defeat, and David Fuster put them ahead after picking up a pass from Dani in only the second minute. But Mario Bermejo equalised from Momo's cross, and then won a penalty which Pedro Ríos converted four minutes before the interval. And Antoñito wrapped things up after the restart following a good team passing move to make it fourteen home wins out of the last fifteen for the Andalusians.
None of the other top five played on Saturday, and sixth placed Rayo Vallecano slipped up again, losing 2-1 at Albacete. Kitoko fired a shot past Cobeño to give the Manchegans the lead in the fifth minute, and Alberto could have extended the lead when he hit the post later in the first half. Aganzo equalised though with a diving header soon after the restart, but Iker Begoña headed the winner from a corner with twelve minutes to go. After that referee Pérez Riverol took over the entertainment, showing red cards to Alberto, Llorens and visiting coach Pepe Mel.
Meanwhile Celta and Real Sociedad cancelled each other out in a 0-0 draw, a result which leaves both stranded in mid-table. The cold, wet conditions meant there was no repetition of the entertaining cup tie from a few weeks ago, with Aranburu the only one of the visitors to try his luck at goal, and Claudio Bravo only having to make a couple of saves from Dinei and Oscar Díaz.
Down in the lower reaches of the table, Eibar moved out of the relegation spots with a 3-1 victory over fellow strugglers Murcia. Yagüe opened the scoring for the locals midway through the first half, and Toquero made it two a few minutes later. Javier Clemente's side got back in the game eight minutes in to the second half after Larrazábal was sent off for giving away a penalty, Iván Alonso converting the spot kick. But it was the Basque team who scored again after that, Toquero netting his second of the evening to give them their first win in over a month
Bottom club Sevilla Atlético are further adrift after losing 1-0 to Girona. The only goal of the game came midway through the first half, Jito tucking in the rebound after Ruyales had saved his spot kick, which was given after a defender handled in the area. It was the Catalans' third home win in a row, and they ended the day in eleventh place pending Sunday's games.
Las Palmas are only just above the bottom four after they were beaten 2-1 by Huesca. The Canary Islanders went ahead on the quarter hour mark when second division top scorer Marcos Márquez headed in a Dani López cross. But just three minutes later Camacho equalised, getting the final touch to a shot from ex Las Palmas striker Rubén Castro. And Castro won it for the locals with an individualist goal early in the second half, taking them back up to the top half of the table. (29.11.08)
Hércules came back from two down to draw 2-2 at Gimnàstic in a match which kicked off at mid-day on Sunday. Serge N'Gal put the Catalans ahead in the fifth minute, beating Calatayud with an angled shot. And the Cameroonian striker made it two with his second of the day shortly before the break. Tote got one back though soon after the restart, and Hércules's new signing Taborda had a penalty appeal turned down a few minutes later. But with the home fans celebrating what they thought was a first win in six games, Rubén Navarro headed in the equaliser from Sendoa's cross to take the Alicante based side up in to the top three pending the evening games. (30.11.08)
Salamanca stay in second place, level on points with Xerez, after beating Córdoba 1-0 on Sunday evening. It was a close call though, Miku scoring the only goal of the game in the first minute of injury time. The locals had dominated the match before that, with Salva Sevilla heading against the bar and visiting keeper Raúl Navas producing a string of saves, especially after Ceballos was sent off for a second bookable offence. But with a draw on the cards, the Venezuelan striker beat the keeper with an angled shot to keep his side at the forefront of the fight for promotion.
Third placed Zaragoza also left it late to beat Tenerife 1-2, Ewerthon converting a late penalty to take the three points. Arizmendi had given the visitors the lead on the half hour mark, but Nino equalised for the Canary Islanders midway through the second half. With two minutes to go though Sergio Aragoneses brought down Ewerthon in the area, earning himself a second booking and consequently a red card. With all three changes made midfielder Alfaro had to go in goal, but he could do nothing to stop the Brazilian forward's spot kick.
Castellón lost ground on the leading group after a 0-1 defeat at the hands of Alavés, the first time they had lost at home in six months. Javi Guerra picked up a long pass from Toni Moral to put the visitors ahead in the twenty-fifth minute, but the locals could have equalised had the referee not ruled out a goal by N'Sue on the stroke of half time for a previous foul by Ulloa. Astudillo was sent off in injury time after picking up a second yellow card, but Alavés held on to take some of the pressure off coach José María Salmerón.
The Vitoria based side climb five points clear of the releation zone, as do Levante, who beat next to bottom side Alicante 0-2. Tena took advantage of some slack marking to head in a free kick on only the second minute, and the locals were left with ten men when Torrecilla picked up a second booking soon after the restart. Rubén Suárez won himself a penalty which he converted a few minutes later, and the game was over before Levante defender Cerra was also sent off for a second bookable offence in injury time. (30.11.08)