Three matches with nothing at stake coming in to the last weekend of the league stage were brought forward to Saturday evening. Las Palmas ended their season with a lively 3-2 win over Sabadell, a result which takes them up to eighth pending the rest of the weekend's results. Francis Suárez put the Canary Islanders ahead with less than a minute on the clock, but Ezequiel equalised just ten minutes later, and Hidalgo gave the visitors the lead from the penalty spot after Javi Castellanos handled in the area five minutes in to the second half. Quiroga levelled the scores once again though after Portillo put him through, and with twenty minutes to go Vitolo left keeper Mackay for dead before shooting inside the near post. Sabadell finish just outside of the bottom three, and they would have gone down had Villarreal B not been relegated instead after their first team dropped out of the first division.
Cartagena knew they were down some time ago though, but they ended their three year stay in the second division with a little bit of dignity after beating Recreativo 1-2. The visitors went two up at the break with low shots from Collantes and Alvaro Antón, and although Berrocal headed one back after the restart it came too late to change the result. Girona's fantastic end to the season has seen them safe however, and they made it ten games without defeat after a 1-2 victory at Murcia. Luso put the Catalans ahead midway through the first half, but then gave away a penalty which Sutil converted a few minutes after the interval. Javi Jiménez saved a second penalty from Jandro, but Acuña scored the winner before Luso got himself sent off late on for a second bookable offence. (02.06.12)
Celta are promoted to the first division after 0-0 draw with Córdoba! The result of this match was a foregone conclusion though, with both teams needing a point to achieve their respective objectives, and bookmakers actually took the match off their cards some time ago. Neither side managed a decent shot at goal throughout the ninety minutes, but the capacity 31,000 didn't mind as they celebrated their return to the top flight after five years in the wilderness. The Andalusians too were happy to secure their place in the play-offs, where they will meet the team who just missed out on automatic promotion, Valladolid. Djukic's side would have gone up if they had won and Celtic lost, but they never believed it possible, and fell to an embarrassing 1-3 defeat against Guadalajara. The coach actually left out five of his first choice players, and although Oscar gave them an early lead with an angled shot, a Javi Soria header and an individualist goal by Víctor Fernández either side of half time turned the scoreline around, and Cristian Fernández wrapped things up from a well struck free kick later in the second half.
The other two play-off places go to Alcorcón and Hércules, who both won their respective matches to stay ahead of Almería. Alcorcón only needed a draw at Numancia to consolidate fourth place, but keeper Manu Herrera had a lot of work to do before substitute Oriol Riera made it 0-1 with a header from Mora's cross. Anquela's side make it to the play-offs for the first time ever, just two years after being promoted from the regional divisions, but Hércules are looking for a return to the big time just a year after going down. They won 1-2 at Huesca, with Sardinero and Urko Vera putting the Alicante based team two up with only a quarter of the game gone. Nuñez won himself a penalty off Sergio however which he converted on the stroke of half time, and although the locals were left with ten men when Omar picked up a second booking on the hour mark, there were some nervous moments for the visiting fans before the final whistle.
Almería missed out though despite a 1-0 victory over the already relegated Alcoyano. A slip up by any of the sides above them would have seen them in to the top six, but they needed to win first to have any chance. With only a quarter of an hour gone they went ahead, Ulloa lifting the ball over Dorronsoro for his 28th goal of the season, confirming his position as the second division's top goalscorer. That was little consolation however as news came in from the other grounds, and Esteban Vigo's team will have to wait another year at least before they can put in a new challenge. Deportivo were sure of going up though last weekend, and they set a new record for the second division of 91 points after beating Villarreal B 0-1. Bodipo took advantage of a rare run out to head the only goal of the game from Saúl's cross with a quarter of an hour to go.
Elche had given up the fight for promotion several weeks back, but they at least ended the season with a win after beating bottom club Gimnàstic 1-0. Cristóbal got the goal for the locals after Xumetra set him up to end a run of four defeats in a row. Nàstic's neighbours Barcelona B will be back next season, and they end the current campaign in eighth spot after thrashing Xerez 0-6. Gustavo opened the scoring for Eusebio's side midway through the first half, and under 19 international Deulofeu added two more either side of half time. Jonathan Dos Santos made it four a few minutes later, and Rafinha and Espinosa completed the rout late on. Barça B will be looking forward to their clashes with Real Madrid's B team next year after their recent promotion from the second division B. (03.06.12)