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Second Division - Day 23

Deportivo are back at the top of the second division, for 24 hours at least, after a last minute 0-1 win at Córdoba on Saturday evening. The Galicians had not won in five games, and a cautious first half ended without goals, and virtually without chances. After the restart though the visitors were the better side, local keeper Saizar having to make first class saves from Nuñez, Juan Dominguez and Luisinho. Córdoba responded with an effort by Xisco which was kept out by Fabricio, who had come on a few minutes before the break after Lux was stretchered off with what looked like a serious knee injury. With the game in the last minute though Saizar could only push out a shot by new signing Salomao, and Luisinho picked up the rebound and crossed in for Borja to turn the ball in to the net for the winner.

Depor ended the day three points clear of three teams, Sporting, who play on Sunday, and Eibar and Zaragoza. Eibar drew 1-1 at Girona, who themselves stay down in the relegation zone after ten games without a win. Both goals came after the break, Urko Vera picking up a pass from Eizmendi before shooting low past Becerra with an hour gone, and new signing Ortuño coming on to head the equalizer just two minutes later after a defender headed back Jandro’s corner. Zaragoza meanwhile beat Mirandés 0-1, Roger heading the only goal midway through the second half from a Víctor Rodríguez cross. Both sides had chances before the break, Paglialunga hitting the bar and Pablo Infante in particular bringing a good save out of Leo Franco, but although the Maños had Abraham sent off for a second bookable offence late on, they held on to confirm their recent good form after a shaky start to the season.

Las Palmas drop two points below Zaragoza though after they were beaten 0-2 by struggling Alavés. A win would have taken the Canary Islanders up in to the direct promotion spots, but they found themselves behind in the twelfth minute when the defence failed to clear Unai Medina’s cross, and Ion Vélez rolled the rebound in off the far post. With twenty minutes to go Aythami Artiles was shown a second yellow card after giving away a penalty on Viguera which the striker converted, and although Vélez was also sent off for a second bookable offence, it was too late to change the result. Lugo are now just a point behind Las Palmas after they won 1-0 against Barcelona B. The Galicians had not won at home in three months, but after missing a couple of earlier chances, Rennella got on the end of Manu’s cross to score the winner on the hour mark. The locals ended with ten men when Víctor Marco picked up a late red card, but Eusebio’s side couldn’t prevent a first defeat in four games which leaves them once again just a point above the relegation spots. (25.01.14)

Deportivo ended the weekend back in first place after last week’s leaders Sporting Gijón could only draw 0-0 against Recreativo on Sunday lunchtime. In this tightest of leagues, the team in top spot has failed to win every one of the last twelve weeks, and once again the Asturians failed to capitalize on their position. Bernardo and Scepovic both headed against the woodwork before the break, and Cabrero and his defence cleared efforts from Scepovic and Mandi off the line, but for once the two teams with the highest number of goals scored this season were unable to find the net. Recre stay in the play-off spots, level on points with Mallorca, who drew 2-2 at Murcia later in the evening. The locals went ahead twice, Kike García opening the scoring on the quarter hour mark after Iván Moreno headed on Casto’s clearance. Bigas connected with Alfaro’s pass to make it all square though some fifteen minutes later, and although Eddy restored the lead later in the second half, Gerard Moreno saved a point for the islanders after a good team move with ten minutes to go.

Numancia remain two points below the top six after they drew 0-0 at Jaén. It was a game of few chances, Sergi Enrich having a goal ruled out for offside and Jona coming up against Biel Rivas at the other end before the break. After the restart Machado went close twice and Julio Alvarez caused some problems with a couple of free kicks, but in the end both settled for a point which keeps the visitors three points ahead of their hosts in the table. It was a day for draws though, Sabadell still a point below Numancia after their game against Ponferradina ended 1-1. Both goals came in the first half, Toni Lao picking up a return pass from Anibal to fire the locals in to the lead with half an hour on the clock. Claudio Barragán brought on Cristian Fernández before half time though, and he immediately combined with Fofo to equalize. The visitors were left with ten men when Aguilar picked up a second booking with three minutes to go, and the Catalans felt themselves hard done by when the referee disallowed a last minute goal by Collantes for the positional offside of a colleague.

Only seven points separate the play-off spots from the relegation places though, Tenerife climbing out of the bottom four after a 2-3 victory at fellow strugglers Hércules. The Canary Islanders raced in to a two goal lead with only seven minutes gone, Ayoze intercepting Peña’s attempted back pass to open the scoring, and Carlos Ruíz heading the second from Chechu’s corner. A minute either side of half time Portillo got one back and then set up Assulín to level the scores, but Ayoze put the visitors back in front near the end, and any hopes of a comeback ended when Juanma Ortíz picked up a second yellow card a couple of minutes later. Hércules end the weekend just a point above the drop zone, level with Barcelona B and Alcorcón, who lost 0-2 to bottom club Real Madrid Castilla. It was a typical local derby, and there were few chances until Raúl de Tomás set up José Rodríguez for the opener some twelve minutes in to the second half. The result was still uncertain though until eight minutes from the end, when Omar Mascarell connected with Aguza’s pass to curl a shot in off the post. Castilla stay at the foot of the table, but now only four points away from safety. (26.01.14)