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Second Division - Day 41

Only one match on Saturday evening, the already relegated Tenerife and Ponferradina playing out a 1-1 draw. Nino opened the scoring for the Canary Islanders on what was probably his last game for his side, latching on to Mikel Alonso's pass to beat Queco Piña on the quarter hour mark. Pablo Sicilia and Nino could have added to the scoreline, and Josmar hit the bar later on. But Acorán gave an early warning when he hit the post, and with three minutes to go the midfielder levelled the scores after Sergio Aragoneses could only push out a previous shot. Both sides ended with ten men after Luis Prieto and Bellvis both picked up second yellow cards. (28.05.11)

The last relegation spot was decided this weekend, with Salamanca going down after losing 5-1 to Barcelona Athletic. Benja and Jonathan Soriano put the locals two up following assists by Abraham and Saúl either side of half time, and although Edu Bedía fired one back on the hour mark, two more from Soriano and another from Nolito in the last five minutes finished them off. Soriano's hat-trick makes him the second division Pichichi with 31 goals, five more than his nearest rival. A festival atmosphere in Barcelona's Mini Estadi after the club's Champions League win the day before, although the 300 travelling fans were not celebrating.

All three clubs who were within reach of Salamanca won their respective matches, with Gimnàstic making sure of staying up after a narrow 2-1 win over the already relegated Albacete. Tato silenced the local crowd by giving the visitors the lead three minutes before the break, but before the half time whistle Felipe Sanchón equalised with an angled shot, and eight minutes after the restart Alex Bergantiños forced the ball over the line after Miguel blocked a shot from Powel. There were some nervous moments late on though, and Albacete actually got the ball in the net in the last minute of injury time only for the referee to disallow the strike.

Villarreal B are also safe after a 2-0 victory over Recreativo. Airam picked up a pass from Gerard Bordas to open the scoring with half an hour gone, and things went further their way when Gallardo was sent off for a second bookable offence soon after the restart. However Juan Villar had a goal disallowed for a borderline offside before Wakaso latched on to a poor clearance by Fabricio to score from just over the halfway line in the third minute of injury time.

Córdoba were also not entirely out of trouble at the start of the day, although a 2-0 win over Las Palmas was more than enough to keep them up. The Canary Islanders wasted a couple of good chances though before Pepe Díaz picked up Tena's assist to put the home side in front in the seventeenth minute. Tena hit the bar later in the first half, and Richy made it two following a corner eight minutes after the break. Not all the fans were happy though, and there were protests against the board who are looking to sell the club in the next few days.

Now the relegation spots are confirmed, that only leaves a couple of issues for the last weekend, including who will finish second division champions between the already promoted Betis and Rayo Vallecano. Betis stay at the top of the table after coming from two goals down with ten men to draw 3-3 at Alcorcón. Two goals from Paco Montañés put the home side in front at half time, but Rubén Castro got one back from the penalty spot after Babín brought down substitute Jonathan Pereira. Soon afterwards though Quini converted a second penalty after Cañas was sent off for felling the striker in the area, but in the last ten minutes a Beñat free kick and a strike from Jorge Molina made it all square.

Rayo Vallecano move to within a point of Betis after beating Cartagena 2-4. Despite putting out a line up with several reserves, Sandoval's team went two up with goals from Movilla and Piti. Víctor got one back for the hosts shortly before half time, but Trejo restored the two goal cushion after the interval with a volley past Rebollo. Rayo were left with ten men when Alcañiz was sent off, but Susaeta made it four from the penalty spot before Goiria headed his side's second late on.

Three out of the four play-off spots are already decided, but Valladolid missed out on a chance to tie up their place after losing 1-0 to a Huesca side managed by one of their old players, Onésimo. Camacho headed what was to prove the only goal from Jokin's cross in the fifth minute, and Camacho came close to second shortly before half time. The visitors pushed forward after the restart, but Cabrero kept out Javi Guerra and Marc Valiente late on.

Alcorcón's defeat means that they are out of the running, and Valladolid only need a point in their last match against the Madrid based side to make the play-offs. If they lose though then Xerez could pip them to it with a victory at Elche. The Andalusians kept themselves in with a chance with a late 2-1 victory over Celta, who themselves are already assured of one of the four places. De Lucas put the Galicians ahead in the second half after good work by Iago Aspas, but with twelve minutes to go Antoñito equalised, and José Marí headed the winner just over the line with six minutes to go.

Granada and Elche are the other two teams in the play-offs, and both wanted to finish first of the four teams to ensure home advantage in the second legs. In the end though Granada stay a point above their rivals after a hard fought 3-3 draw. The Andalusians were two up at the break with a Dani Benítez free kick and a strike from Orellana. Angel got one back on the hour mark though after Cristobal set him up, and soon afterwards the striker returned the favour for Cristobal to level the scores. Carpio and Dani Benítez were sent off, and Mainz headed the home side back in front. But in the seventh minute of injury time Generelo beat Roberto from the halfway line to save the draw.

Only one other game with nothing at stake, Numancia beating Girona 4-0 in a match in which several players were saying their good-byes to the Soria based club. Sunny opened the scoring midway through the first half and Cedric added a second after combining with Barkero (both of whom are leaving) four minutes later. Twenty minutes in to the second half Barkero latched on to Cedric's cross to drill home the third, and team captain Del Pino rounded things off with the fourth near the end. (29.05.11)