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Second Division - Day 1

Doubts up until two days before the beginning of the season as to whether the second division would start as planned, but in the end a court ruling confirming the relegation of Murcia and the reinstatement of Mirandés allowed everything to go ahead. The competition this year is stronger than ever, and many of the promotion favourites kicked off on Saturday, including two of the teams relegated last year, Osasuna and Valladolid. Both won their opening games, Osasuna beating Barcelona B 2-0 with two goals from Nino. The veteran striker was close to abandoning the club last year, but he opened the scoring from Oier’s cross with just over a quarter of an hour gone, and had a goal incorrectly disallowed before taking advantage of a mistake by Bagnack to make it two with ten minutes to go. Valladolid meanwhile won 2-1 against Mallorca, Rubi’s side taking the lead midway through the first half when Pau Cendrós deflected a Jeffren corner in to his own net. Oscar added a second some six minutes in to the second half after an effort from Roger came back off the post, but Cendrós made up for his mistake by getting one back a few minutes later.

Las Palmas only just missed out on promotion last season, and they got off to a good start with a 2-0 victory over Llagostera. The Catalans are living a dream after coming up from the amateur leagues following no less than seven promotions in only ten years, but they went behind in the twentieth minute when Aythami got in front of René to head in a long Momo free kick. Araújo fired home a spectacular second on the hour mark, and the ex Barça B Argentinian striker could have scored a third had the keeper not pushed his shot on to the post later on. Zaragoza are looking to get back in to the top flight after a change in ownership saved the club from bankruptcy, although they have consequently only just started to get their squad together, and they were held to a 0-0 draw at Recreativo. Javi Alamo almost won it for them though when his shot hit the woodwork after the break. A home-grown Sporting Gijón are another of the favourites, and they came from behind to beat Numancia 1-2. Sergi Enrich put the locals ahead, firing a shot past Cuéllar early on in the second half, but the turning point came when Juanma was sent off for a rigorous second booking with twenty minutes to go. Even so Palanca hit the post with a free kick, but strikes by Guerrero and substitute Juan Muñiz in the last ten minutes turned the scoreline around. (23.08.14)

The second division this year promises to be one of the most exciting and competitive in recent times, with many top sides fighting to get back to the top flight. That includes the three teams who went down from the first division last season, all of whom won their opening ties, Betis beating Sabadell 2-3 on Sunday to join Osasuna and Valladolid in the upper reaches of the table. The Andalusians went two up in the first half, Cejudo beating De Navas after a free kick was only partly cleared, and Matilla drilling home the second from a Rubén Castro assist. Tamudo had a strike ruled out for a non-existent offside, and when Castro made it three it appeared to be all over. However Edgar took advantage of a mistake by Adán to get one back with three minutes to go, and Tamudo set up a nail-biting last couple of minutes when he headed a long cross past the keeper again at the end. Sabadell’s regional neighbours Girona got off to a winning start, a 1-0 victory over the newly promoted Racing Santander giving them their first three points. Filipe Sachón got the only goal on the quarter hour mark, turning a shot past Mario at the second attempt, and the Cantabrians showed that they have a lot of work to do if they are to stay up. A 1-0 win as well for Ponferradina against Tenerife, ex Mirandés captain Pablo Infante scoring the goal directly from an inswinging corner in the seventeenth minute. Guarrotxena, Ifrán and Aridane all had chances to equalize though later on.

You can wait all season for a 2-3 scoreline, but two came along at once on the opening day, Alcorcón winning by that scoreline against another of the newly promoted sides, Albacete. The Madrid based side took the lead three times, David Rodríguez opening the scoring for them midway through the first half after Sergio Mora set him up. César Diaz got on the end of a Fran García cross to fire home the equalizer before the break, but Bellvis headed the visitors back in front from an Oscar Plano cross soon after the restart. Once again the Manchegans drew level when Rubén Cruz headed in Antoñito’s centre with a quarter of an hour to go, but David Rodríguez won the ball off a defender soon afterwards to score what was to prove the winner. The other two matches on Sunday ended all square, Leganés celebrating their return after a 10 year absence with a 1-1 draw against Alavés. Alberto Martin got on the end of a Fran Moreno cross to give the Madrid based side an early lead, but although the visitors were left with ten men for the last half hour after Galán picked up a second booking, Barreiro equalized after the defence failed to clear a Juanma corner with twenty minutes to go. As fate would have it the calendar threw together Mirandés and Lugo on the opening day. The two teams met on the last weekend of last season, with the Galicians winning to send their opponents down. However Mirandés have since been pardoned after Murcia were relegated for financial reasons, and this time they settled for a point apiece in a lively 0-0 draw. (24.08.14)