Second Division - Day 29

Leaders Xerez came back to beat Las Palmas 2-3 in a thrilling match on Saturday night. Antoñito's took advantage of a mistake by Juanpa to put the Andalusians ahead in the eighth minute. But Marcos Márquez equalised later in the first half after Darino set him up, and a Pitu free kick midway through the second half appeared to have given the Canary Islanders a much needed win. However goals from Antoñito and Brian Sarmiento in the last two minutes overturned the scoreline once again. The defeat leaves Las Palmas on the brink of the drop zone, although their good performance means that under-pressure coach Javier Vidales lives to fight another day (at least as we go to press!).

Xerez stay two points clear of Tenerife, who regained second spot after a 1-2 victory at promotion rivals Salamanca. Miku put the locals ahead on the quarter hour mark, but Nino equalised from the penalty spot before the interval after he was brought down by Gañán. Cohen and Miku wasted chances for the locals either side of half time, and Salva Sevilla hit the post after the restart. But Nino got on the end of Angel's cross to head the winner midway through the second half, and Salamanca's challenge ended when Cristian Bustos was sent off with a quarter of an hour to go.

Zaragoza are up to fourth after a comfortable 4-0 win over bottom club Sevilla Atlético. Arizmendi turned in Caffa's cross with only a minute on the clock, and Ponzio put Marcelino's side two up following an indirect free kick seven minutes later. The visitors were left with ten men when Gallardo picked up a second booking on the hour mark, and Pavón headed in Caffa's free kick immediately afterwards. And Ewerthon made it four later on to make it twenty for the season, keeping him two clear of Nino at the top of the Pichichi chart.

Castellón lost ground on the leaders though after a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Levante, who move to within a point of their opponents in the table. A back header by Tena from Parri's free kick opened the scoring, and Parri himself made it two with a long shot on the stroke of half time. N'sue headed one back from another free kick after the restart, and the locals were left with ten men when Iborra was sent off. But Luis García's side held on for a first win in four weeks, Jorge Pina making sure of the three points in the last minute.

Huesca moved up level with Levante on points after a 0-2 victory at Albacete. Both goals came before the interval, Rubén Castro heading in Robert's cross and José Vegar lobbing keeper Cabrero shortly before the half time whistle. Toché missed a penalty for the locals after the restart, but the visitors could have increased their lead after that.

Alavés stay in the relegation spots for another week at least after a last minute 1-0 defeat at Murcia. Astudillo hit the post for the visitors in the first half, but otherwise there was little action until substitute Dani Aquino headed in Bruno's corner in the last minute, keeper Bonis's efforts to stop the effort on the line negated by a linesman who ruled that the ball had crossed over.

Alavés's neighbours Eibar also remain in the bottom four despite a 1-1 draw at Córdoba. Carlos Rubén gave the Basque side the lead with a shot from outside of the area on the stroke of half time, but Asen equalised from José Vega's cross twenty minutes in to the second half. Vega was sent off for a second bookable offence soon afterwards, but good saves from keepers Raúl Navas and Pampín ensured that points would be shared.

Alicante are still four points below Eibar after they drew 2-2 with Celta. Azkoitia missed an early penalty before Dani Abalo opened the scoring with a cross-come-shot, and a Renan free kick put Eusebio's side two up at the break, But Azkoitia got one back with an angled shot a quarter of an hour from the end, and Jordà converted a second penalty to extend the East coast side's unbeaten run to four games. (21.03.09)

Hércules held on to their place in the top three after a last minute 2-2 draw at neighbours Elche on Sunday lunchtime. Both sides hit the post before the break, although the goals only came in the last twenty minutes, Abraham Paz's opener for the visitors following a corner cancelled out by a header from Miguel a minute later. Saúl beat Calatayud to give Elche the lead a minute from the end of normal time, but Abel Aguilar saved a point for Juan Carlos Mandía's team in time added on.

Rayo Vallecano are up to fourth after beating Gimnàstic 3-2 later in the evening. The Catalans came back to level the scores twice in the first half with goals from Víctor and then Jordi Alba after Collantes and Pachón had beaten Rubén Pérez. But Piti won it for the locals after the break with his first goal this season, and the visitors ended with ten men after Moisés was shown a second yellow card near the end.

Real Sociedad stay four points behind Rayo in sixth place after a 2-0 win over Girona. Aranburu finally broke down the Catalans' defensive formation with an angled shot on the hour mark, and Sergio made it two with a well struck free kick a few minutes later to make it three wins in a row for the Basque side. (22.03.09)