Second Division A - Day 22

Hércules moved to within a point of leaders Xerez pending their game on Sunday after a 1-0 win over Córdoba. The Alicante based side suffered throughout, but substitute Rubén Navarro got the winner with a hotly disputed penalty near the end after Raúl Navas brought down Delibasic. Referee Gardeazabal Gómez showed two red cards but none to players on the pitch, Cámara picking up the first whilst still on the bench and Katxorro the second after the final whistle, both for insulting the officials. Córdoba stay down in the bottom four as a result.

Real Sociedad are up in to the top three after a 0-1 victory at Las Palmas, despite playing over half the game with ten men after Markel was sent off for a second bookable offence. Abreu scored his first goal for his new club after winning himself a penalty from Siro Darino on the quarter hour mark. And although the Canary Islanders created several chances after that, they were not able to beat a confident Claudio Bravo.

It's all remarkably close at the top though, with another eight clubs within three points of the promotion spots. Castellón were in the top three themselves for most of their game against Huesca after Ulloa opened the scoring in the second minute, and they thought they had gone further ahead near the end when Tabares bundled the ball in to the net. The referee ruled out the goal though and the striker was stretchered off with a broken leg, and they had to settle for a 1-1 draw after Nico Medina equalised in injury time.

Rayo Vallecano moved up level on points with Castellón after a 0-1 victory at Murcia, ending a run of five wins in a row for José Miguel Campos's side. Pachón headed the only goal on the quarter hour mark, and after that Pepe Mel's side sat back to defend. Antonio Nuñez hit the bar and Cobeño had to make some important saves, but after Mejía was sent off for a second booking their challenge ended.

Girona and Celta stay two points behind Rayo after cancelling each other out in a 2-2 draw. With rain falling heavily the pitch was at times unplayable, but Dinei opened the scoring for the Galicians with an angled shot after the break. Headed goals from Oscar Alvarez and Igor, the first from a free kick and the second from Manga's cross, turned the scoreline around. But Ghilas made it all square again, heading in Oubiña's free kick, and after Rosada was sent off for a second booking both sides settled for a point.

A 1-1 draw as well between bottom club Sevilla Atlético and Albacete, leaving the Andalusians without a win in sixteen games. New signing Toché put the visitors in front from the spot after De la Bella gave away a penalty ten minutes before the interval. Moisés equalised for the locals two minutes later with a low shot, but despite having the better chances after that they had to make do with their seventh draw of the season. (31.01.09)

Xerez kept up their three point lead at the top of the table after a 2-0 victory over struggling Alicante on a rainy Sunday evening throughout Spain. The visitors matched their hosts though until substitute Sarmiento won a penalty late in the second half which Momo converted, and then scored the second himself after Carlos Calvo set him up to wrap things up.

Tenerife hold on to second spot though after a 0-1 win against Gimnàstic. Angel came on as substitute and headed the only goal from Kome's cross within thirty seconds of making his appearance. And the Canary Islanders held on after that despite having Ricardo sent off for a second bookable offence with a quarter of an hour still to go.

Zaragoza are only just outside of the top three after beating Levante 2-1. Ewerthon gave them the lead midway through the first half, heading in a cross from Jorge López, but Geijo lobbed López Vallejo to make it all square just before the break. Ewerthon hit the post after the restart though, and substitute Arizmendi won it later on after picking up a pass from Songo'o.

Salamanca lost a bit of ground on the leaders after drawing 1-1 at Alavés, although they are still only two points off the top three. Miku put the visitors ahead, beating Bonis with fifteen minutes to go. But his strike was cancelled out by a last minute equaliser from Pablo Casar, who headed in an Emilio Sánchez corner to keep his side three points above the drop zone and save the head of under pressure coach Manix Mandiola.

Elche moved up safely to mid-table after coming from behind to beat Eibar 1-2. Sutil opened the scoring for the Basque side four minutes before the interval. But Miguel equalised following a corner on the hour mark, and Iván Bolado got the winner late on to leave the locals further down in the relegation spots. Both sides ended with ten men after substitutes Dani Benítez and Tiko were sent off. (01.02.09)