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Second Division - Day 39

Elche's promotion to the first division was confirmed on Saturday after Alcorcón and Girona both failed to win! Fran Escribà's side were all but mathematically up though after Alcorcón could only draw 1-1 at Barcelona B in the first match of the evening, and celebrations began immediately after the final whistle. The Madrid based side went close early on, with Masip having to save from Sergi Enrich and Morán. But with just over half an hour on the clock Rafinha played back Deulofeu's free kick, and Sergi Gómez turned the ball over the line to put the locals ahead. Abraham shot wide and Enrich hit the post for the visitors after the restart, but it was up to Laguardia to save the day for them late on, the central defender clearing a shot by Deulofeu off the line and then getting on the end of an injury time corner to head in the equaliser.

Third placed Villarreal and second placed Girona met later in the evening, the locals running out 4-1 winners to move ahead of their opponents in the table. It was a flattering result though, with the home side scoring three of their goals in the last quarter of an hour or so. Uche ran on to a Canteros pass to give them the lead in only the third minute, but the Catalans held their own after that, and Toni Moral ran through on a quick counter-attack to lob Juan Carlos and equalise some five minutes in to the second half. Perbet restored the lead though after Pereira set him up, and Cani put the French striker through for a third before Uche wrapped things up with a shot through the legs of keeper Dani Mallo in injury time.

The last of the promotion spots appears to be between Las Palmas and Ponferradina, the Canary Islanders remaining two points ahead of their rivals after both drew on Saturday. Las Palmas were held to a 0-0 draw by Recreativo, who themselves needed points to make sure of another season in the second division. Nauzet Aleman and Chuli hit the woodwork at either end in the first half, and Tato felt he should have had a penalty, but otherwise chances were few and far between.

Ponferradina failed to take their opportunity later in the evening though after they too could only draw 1-1 at home to Numancia. Acorán hit the post for the locals soon after the restart, but a couple of minutes later Bedoya headed the visitors in to the lead after Jaio headed back Bonilla's cross. Two minutes after that though Ponfe equalised, Yuri turning a shot past Biel Ribas after Julio Alvarez lost the ball in the area, but the Soria based side held on for a point which keeps them level with Recre in the table.

Sporting Gijón still have a mathematical chance of making it to the play-off, spots, and they are now ninth after a 0-2 victory at already relegated Xerez. After a first win in 25 games last week, the Andalusians went back in to their shell, and Muñiz rattled the woodwork before Casquero picked up a short pass by Guerrero to beat Toni from outside of the area with eight minutes to go to the break. Guerrero tested the local keeper again early in the second half, and with a quarter of an hour to go the young forward crossed in for Casquero to score his second of the evening.

Real Madrid Castilla stay a point behind the Andalusians after they beat Lugo 3-1, their sixth home win in a row. Morata hit the post before Borja García picked up a Jesé assist to open the scoring, and Morata himself scored the second after cutting past his marker to beat José Juan. Iván Pérez got one back a few minutes before the interval with a well struck free kick, and Mejías had to make a couple of important saves after that, but Jesé crossed in for Morata to wrap things up with a couple of minutes to go.

Córdoba drop to eleventh however after they could only draw 2-2 against struggling Huesca. Somewhat against the run of play, Xisco headed the Andalusians in to the lead from a Fede Vico cross on the stroke of half time. Tariq headed the equaliser from a Miguel García centre soon after the restart, but Xisco got his second of the evening twelve minutes later after Zabal could only push out a shot by Abel Gómez. With two minutes to go though Nacho Novo got on the end of another Miguel García cross to save his team a point which keeps them five points off safety pending the rest of the weekend's games. (18.05.13)

A festive atmosphere at Almería on Sunday lunchtime, where almost three thousand Elche fans made the short trip to celebrate their side's return to the top flight after an absence of 24 years. Results the day before meant that Fran Escribà's side are now sure of finishing in the top two, although they were up against the only team who had even a mathematical chance of pipping them for first place. The locals desperately needed a win themselves to keep pace with their closest rivals in the table, and with only eight minutes gone they took the lead, Christian beating Manu Herrera after Iago Falqué played on a corner. Coro equalised a few minutes later on a quick counter-attack, Christian only playing Albácar's long clearance in to the path of the forward, but Soriano made it 2-1 before the break after Christian set him up, and that was how it stayed. The win takes Almería up to third, level on points with Villarreal, who they visit on the last day of the season. Who goes up directly with Elche may well depend on that match. (19.05.13)

Later in the day Hércules took a big step towards salvation with a last gasp 1-0 victory over Mirandés. The Alicante based side started the match just four points above their opponents, who themselves were only two above the bottom four, and both teams got off to a nervous start. Keepers Falcón and Goitia were hardly troubled throughout the ninety minutes, and the game appeared to be heading for a score-less draw until the second minute of injury time, when Portillo latched on to a loose ball close to goal to poke a shot past the keeper. Racing Santander took advantage of the defeat of Carlos Pouso's side to move to within two points of them in the table after a 0-2 victory over Sabadell. Heavy rain made playing conditions difficult, but Jairo got on the end of Gai Assulín's cross to open the scoring on the stroke of half time, and Marti Crespi got the second with a little help from local defender Samu soon after the restart. (19.05.13)

One second division match on Monday evening this week, Guadalajara beating Murcia 3-1 to move eight points clear of their opponents, who stay in the bottom four as a result. Matilla went close for the visitors a couple of times early on, but midway through the first half Juanjo beat Javi Jiménez to open the scoring for the home side. Matilla equalised with a shot from the edge of the area some five minutes in to the second half, but Gaffoor restored the lead following a corner, and with the game coming to an end Alvaro Antón wrapped things up. A six point gap has now opened up between the bottom five and the teams above them, and with Xerez already down, the three remaining relegation spots would appear to be between four clubs, Mirandés, Murcia, Racing Santander and Huesca. (20.05.13)