Second Division A - Day 17

Most of the second division sides opted to start their winter break a day early, with nine of the eleven matches scheduled for Saturday evening. Leaders Salamanca will not be celebrating though after they lost 1-0 in the last minute to Real Sociedad. The locals had the better chances throughout, and they seemed to be heading for victory when Botelho was sent off after picking up two yellow cards for fouls on an active Xabi Prieto just before the break. However it was not until the third minute of injury time that Ansotegi headed the winner after Labaka headed across Gerardo's cross.

Zaragoza moved up to second pending Xerez's game on Sunday after a comfortable 3-0 victory over struggling Alicante. Oliveira opened the scoring in the twentieth minute following a Jorge López free kick, and Ewerthon made it two before the break after turning in Oliveira's pass. And two minutes after the restart Jorge López beat Unanua for a third time to leave the visitors further down in the drop zone.

Hércules stay level with Zaragoza on points after a 3-2 victory over Huesca. César gave the locals the lead after Abel Aguilar had headed on a set piece move with twenty minutes on the clock, but Roberto beat Calatayud to equalise four minutes after the restart. Raúl restored the lead for the home side, and Rubén Castro levelled the scores again from the penalty spot after César had brought him down. With three minutes to go though Delibasic headed the winner from a corner, getting himself sent off into the bargain after being shown a second yellow card for taking off his shirt to celebrate the goal.

Castellón drop down to sixth after a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Girona, who move level with their opponents on points as a result. Arnal headed in a cross from the right to score the only goal of the game with under a minute on the clock, and although Arnal and Duran had chances later on the scoreline remained unmoved.

Rayo Vallecano separate the two in the table after they were beaten 2-0 by an improving Elche. David Fuster scored both goals for Claudio Barragán's side late on, the first after good work by Santos with twelve minutes to go. Just three minutes later Diamé was sent off after picking up a second booking for handling inside the area, and Fuster converted the resulting penalty to give his side their third home win in a row.

Levante are also level with Rayo and the rest on 25 points after a 3-0 win over Córdoba. The visitors had the better chances before their keeper Raúl Navas was sent off for handling outside of the area on the stroke of half time, Rubén Suárez firing the resulting free kick past substitute keeper Valle. Rubén got his second of the day from the penalty spot after Del Moral was fouled soon after the restart. And substitute Adrián Martín wrapped things up later on, shortly after Córdoba were left with nine men following a second booking for Ceballos.

It was a good day for the home sides though, with Las Palmas also running out 3-0 winners over Albacete. Nauzet started things off in only the second minute, picking up a pass from Pablo Sánchez before beating Cabrero. Marcos Márquez made it two from the penalty spot after Jaime brought down David García five minutes before the interval, and David García got on the end of Nauzet's cross to make it three soon after the restart. The visitors ended with ten men after Jaime was shown a second booking later on.

The only local team not to win were bottom club Sevilla Atlético, who were held to a 0-0 draw by Eibar. The Andalusians had the better of the first half, with Bernardo in particular testing Zigor shortly before half time. The best chance of the game though fell to the visitors, Yagüe hitting the post midway through the second half.

Murcia's new coach José Miguel Campos (who took over from Javier Clemente midweek) was not able to see his team in action against Celta however, the match called off after a bout of food poisoning hit the local squad. (20.12.08)

Only two matches left for the following day, with Xerez staying in third spot in the table despite a 1-2 defeat at home to Gimnàstic on Sunday lunchtime. Antoñito headed in Momo's centre to give the hosts the lead with just under half an hour gone, but Víctor got on the end of Jandro's free kick to equalise on the stroke of half time. And Jordi Alba got the winner a quarter of an hour after the restart to give the Catalans only their second away win of the season.

Later in the evening Tenerife beat Alavés 1-2 to move up to fifth in the table, just two points off the promotion spots. Alfaro headed in Nino's cross to open the scoring and Oscar Pérez took advantage of a lucky rebound to score a second for the Canary Islanders in the first half hour. Javi Guerra got one back near the end, and Igor could have equalised when he hit the bar in the last minute. But it was not enough to prevent a defeat which cost the job of José María Salmerón, who was fired soon after the final whistle. (21.12.08)

Murcia beat Celta 1-0 in a match which was postponed from a couple of weeks ago due to the illness of several players in the Murcia squad. Bruno scored the only goal with a shot in off the crossbar on the stroke of half time to make it four wins in a row for José Miguel Campos's side. It was Celta's first defeat since the start of the new year. (21.01.09)