Second Division A - Day 19

Zaragoza top the second division for the first time this season after beating last week's leaders Salamanca 1-0 on Saturday evening. The game took some time to get going, and there were some whistles from the crowd after Botelho just failed to beat López Vallejo after the break. However with a quarter of an hour to go substitute Braulio got what was to prove the only goal after Gabi headed down a Jorge López pass. The visitors could have equalised late on though, Català shooting over the bar with the goal at his mercy in injury time.

Hércules missed out on a chance to move up in to the top three after they were surprisingly beaten 1-2 by city neighbours Alicante. Azkoitia headed in Pedrito's cross against the run of play on the stroke of half time. And although Aguilar got on the end of a Delibasic centre to equalise ten minutes after the restart, Català restored the lead for the visitors on a rapid breakaway a minute later. It was a great result for coach Granero on his return to the club just a few months after being fired.

Celta are now just a point behind the East coast side after a 1-2 win at Alavés. David Rodríguez picked up a pass from Oscar Díaz to open the scoring for the Galicians in the ninth minute, and got his second of the evening from roberto Lago's cross just three minutes after the interval. However the striker got himself sent off a few minutes later, and almost immediately the visitors were given a penalty after Fajardo fouled De Marcos. Notario saved Jacobo's spot kick however, and although Oscar beat the keeper later on it was not enough to change the result.

All four teams in the relegation spots picked up points, with Murcia winning 1-0 against Albacete to move to within a point of Alavés. Merino and Ibón both wasted chances for the visitors before the break. But Capdevila failed to beat Jonathan at the other end before setting up Despotovic to score the winner midway through the second half, and Albacete's challenge ended when Mainz was sent off near the end. It was a second win in a row for new coach José Campos, who took over from Javier Clemente only recently.

Bottom club Sevilla Atlético drew 1-1 at home to Huesca, a result which left them eleven points away from safety. Barranco beat Eduardo with an angled shot from the edge of the area to put the Andalusians ahead on the half hour mark. But just four minutes later Luis Helguera headed the equaliser after keeper Ruyales failed to clear a ball in the area, and the visitors shut up shop after that for a point which keeps them in sixth spot pending Sunday's games.

Later in the evening Córdoba drew 0-0 at Las Palmas, leaving the Andalusians a point behind Murcia in the table. The Canary Islanders were left with ten men when Miguel García picked up a second booking a few minutes before the break, but even so Nauzet hit the bar and visiting keeper Raúl Navas had to make some important saves after the restart. Numbers were evened up in the end when Ceballos was also sent off for a second bookable offence. (10.01.09)

Xerez are back on top of the second division after beating Tenerife 2-0 on Sunday lunchtime. Both sides started level on points, but Momo converted a free kick before the break and then set up Calle in the second half to take the Andalusians ahead of Zaragoza thanks to a higher number of goals scored.

Real Sociedad could have caught up with Tenerife later in the evening, but in the end they stay two points behind them after drawing 1-1 with Rayo Vallecano. Agirretxe gave the Basque side the lead in the eighteenth minute after Cobeño had saved a previous shot, but a last minute Aganzo penalty after Markel had handled in the area saved a point for the visitors. Markel was sent off for a second bookable offence in the incident.

Only two points separate nine teams from fifth place downwards though, Castellón moving up to sixth after a 2-1 win over Gimnàstic. Ulloa got both the goals in the second half, the first a header from Arana's corner and the second another header after N'sue played the ball across. N'Gal replied near the end for the Catalans, who played almost an hour with ten men after Caire was sent off.

Levante are level with Castellón after a 0-2 victory at Elche. Geijo got the first after picking up a pass from Rubén Suárez on the half hour mark. And Rubén scored the second from the penalty spot after Oscar Rubio was sent off for bringing down Geijo midway through the second half.

Girona moved up to the top half of the table after beating Eibar 2-0. Both goals came after the break from the new winter signings, Felipe Sanchón beating Zigor with a shot from the edge of the area and Igor da Souza running in to score the second in injury time. (11.01.09)