Second Division - Day 31

Leaders Tenerife stay top pending Sunday's games after holding fourth placed Rayo Vallecano to a 0-0 draw on Saturday. A sell out 15,000 crowd saw both keepers make important saves in the first half, Luis García early on from Pachón and Jofre, and Cobeño after that from Alfaro. The visitors were left a man short when Marc Bertrán was sent off for a second bookable offence with twenty minutes to go, but the keeper and his defence held fast to ensure the unbeaten records of both sides, Rayo now having gone fourteen games without defeat and the Canary Islanders twelve.

Zaragoza move up to third after a late 1-0 win over Girona in the Romareda stadium. Visiting keeper Rafa Ponzo was the star of the match, with saves from an Ayala header in the first half and efforts from Braulio and Pavón after the restart. The visitors were left with ten men when Dorrca picked up a second booking midway through the second half, but Braulio ran on to Ander Herrera's through ball to round the keeper and score with five minutes to go.

Real Sociedad's run of four victories in a row came to an end as they could only draw 0-0 with Gimnàstic in the Anoeta stadium, and they are still five points off the top three. The Basque side could have taken the lead in the first half when Sergio fired a free kick against the bar, and visiting keeper Rubén Pérez saved an Abreu penalty after Mairata handled in the area. Zubikarai tipped a shot from Víctor against the post after the restart though, and Campano struck the post with another free kick later on.

Further down the table Las Palmas moved five points clear of the relegation spots with a 1-0 victory over Castellón. Pablo Sánchez took advantage of slack defending to score the goal ten minutes before half time, giving his side only their second win since the start of the year. They had to hold on in the end though after Samuel was sent off for a second bookable offence with a few minutes to go.

Córdoba stay level with the Canary Islanders after beating Huesca by the same scoreline. The visitors held their own until a minute before the break, when keeper Eduardo was sent off for handling outside of the area. It was not until a quarter of an hour from the end though that Arteaga got on the end of a Cristian Alvarez cross to head home the winner. (04.04.09)

Xerez returned to the top of the second division with a 1-2 victory over Murcia on Sunday lunchtime. Crespi headed the Andalusians in to an early lead from Abel's free kick, and a second Abel free kick was headed in to his own net by Xisco Campos ten minutes after the restart. Both sides were left with ten men when Capdevila and then Asier were shown red cards, and substitute Gallardo (making a first appearance after a year long injury lay-off) scored a late consolation for the locals.

Hércules moved back up to second spot after thrashing bottom club Sevilla Atlético 8-0 in the last match of the weekend. With only a quarter of an hour gone they were three up, Delibasic, Rubén Navarro and Abel Aguilar the goalscorers. Navarro and Sendoa added two more in the run up to half time, and Tote got his name on the scoresheet soon after the restart. And in the last ten minutes Navarro completed his hat-trick and Morán finished things off to record the highest score in the second division in sixteen years. Curiously only 14 goals had been scored in the other ten matches during the entire weekend!

The promotion race would seem now to be between the top six, although Salamanca are not completely out of it after coming from behind to beat Celta 2-1 earlier in the evening. Ghilas put the Galicians ahead on the quarter hour mark, heading in Renan's long free kick. But Dañobeitia levelled the scores a few minutes after the interval, and Miku scored the winner a few minutes later to leave Eusebio's side just five points above the drop zone.

Levante are only a couple of points behind Salamanca after beating struggling Eibar 2-0. Iborra got on the end of a Miguel Pérez cross to give the Valencia based side the lead in only the third minute. And Piña volleyed home Xisco Nadal's centre on the hour mark to virtually ensure Levante's place in the second division for another season.

It was a bad weekend for the Basque sides though, with Eibar now eight points from safety, and their neighbours Alavés just three points above them after losing 1-0 at Elche. The only goal came with half an hour on the clock when Pablo Casar deflected a cross-come-shot from Santos past his own keeper Bonis, and any chance of a recovery ended when Casar was sent off for a second bookable offence near the end.

Alicante are also one of the favourites to go down as well, and they remain a point behind Eibar despite beating Albacete 0-2. Torrecillo headed in Tito's corner to open the scoring with half an hour gone, and Peragón wrapped things up in the last minute, heading in the rebound after a shot from Buades came back off the bar. (05.04.09)