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Second Division - Day 13

The top three sides, Las Palmas, Valladolid and Sporting Gijón all drew their respective matches 0-0 on Saturday. Las Palmas hold on to first place on goal difference though after their scoreless draw against a Mirandés side who were desperate for points to help them get out of the relegation spots. Local keeper Casto had to be at his best to save from Igor Martínez and Urko Vera before the break, and although Momo hit the bar at the start of the second half, Imanol didn’t have any work to do until he kept out Aythami near the end. Valladolid stay level with the Canary Islanders after their 0-0 draw against Sabadell earlier in the evening. Despite the result both sides had several chances, keepers Nauzet and Javi Varas the busiest men on the park after a dull first half hour. After the break André Leao hit the post with a low shot following a corner, and Varas made the save of the night from Gato in the closing minutes. Sporting Gijón meanwhile stay a point behind the leaders after their match at Alavés finished without goals, the Asturians thereby extending their unbeaten record this season to thirteen games. New under 21 international Carlos Castro had an early shot blocked, and Ion Vélez came up against Cuéllar after the break, but in the end both coaches settled for what was their seventh draw of the season.

Girona took advantage of the failings of their closest rivals to return to the direct promotion spots after coming from behind to win 1-2 at Leganés. The locals had not lost in their Butarque stadium this season, and they went close a couple of times before Mantovani headed in a wide Alvaro free kick with just under a quarter of an hour gone. However Sandaza ran on to Granell’s long pass to equalize on the half hour mark, the Catalans’ first shot at goal all evening. After the restart Becerra made a key save from Fran Moreno, and in the second minute of injury time Queco Piña could only push out a shot from Christian Alfonso, and Sandaza scrambled in the winner after his first effort was blocked on the line by Mantovani. The top four have opened up a gap of three points over fifth place, currently occupied by Ponferradina after they beat Osasuna 0-1. The locals were missing six players who were on international duty, and they were overpowered in the first half, Sobrino putting the visitors ahead following a good run which ended with him firing a shot in to the top corner of the net. Santamaría had to prevent Pablo Infante and Berrocla from increasing the lead after the break, but despite having youngster Olavide amd debutant Vujadinovic sent off late on, visiting keeper Prieto had to save an injury time header from Nino to ensure the three points.

Curiously there were no home wins at all in the seven games played on Saturday, Mallorca’s run of five victories in a row coming to end after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Alcorcón. The Balearic Islanders went ahead in only the fourth minute when Arana converted a penalty after Charlie Dean fouled Pereira in the area, but with the first half coming to a close Héctor Verdés levelled the scores with a well struck free kick in to the top corner of the net. After the restart both teams were left with ten men when Joao Víctor and Alberto Escassi were both shown straight red cards following a clash in midfield, and the visitors held on for a valuable point despite having Rubén Sanz sent off as well for a second bookable offence with a quarter of an hour to go. The game between Barcelona B and Numancia also finished 1-1, a result which took the Soria based side out of the relegation spots pending Sunday’s games, and left the locals down in twelfth spot without a win in their last four games. Munir was playing his first game for the reserve team after his rapid rise to fame, but he came up against his namesake in the visiting goal a couple of time during the match. Sergi Enrich gave the away side the lead at the start of the second half after picking up a through ball from Ripa before beating Ortolá, but Sandro cut in from the left to make it all square on the hour mark. Munir made a good save from Edgar Ié soon afterwards, and Dongou missed an easy chance to win it for Eusebio’s side later on. (15.11.14)

The big clash on Sunday was between promotion rivals Zaragoza and Betis, the game finishing 2-2 in the end to leave the Andalusians in sixth spot and their hosts a point behind them in eighth. The visitors got off to the better start, Cabrera having to head an effort from Rubén Castro off the line before Xavi Torres set up Rennella for the opener with ten minutes to go to the break. Rennella came close to a second when he hit the post shortly before half time, but early in the second half Willian José levelled the scores from the penalty spot after Jordi handled in the area. Three minutes later Julio Velázquez’s side were back in front, Cabrera’s header back towards his own goal catching his keeper Whalley by surprise, but soon afterwards Pedro equalized again with the goal of the night, controlling Dorca’s long clearance on his chest and volleying a shot wide of Adán. The visiting keeper saved the day in the end though with stops from Eldin and Borja in the dying minutes, and both teams had to settle for a point.

Recreativo are now above Zaragoza on goal difference after they beat bottom club Albacete 4-1 earlier in the evening. Only the day before Spain had played out their European qualifier against Belarus in the Nuevo Colombino stadium, but some 6,000 fans returned to the ground for another dose of more down to earth football. They saw their team go behind early on however, César Díaz picking up a loose ball outside of the area and running on past two defenders to beat Dani Sotres. Antonio Nuñez struck twice though in the next twenty minutes to turn the scoreline around, the first on the follow up after Diego Rivas could only parry Alvaro Antón’s free kick, and the second with an acrobatic volley from a Pedro Ríos cross. With twenty minutes to go Pedro Ríos cut in from the right wing to fire a shot inside the far post, and just three minutes later Antón took advantage of Juanra’s missed clearance to run through and chip the keeper for the fourth.

Lugo stay in tenth place, now some three points off the play-off spots, after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Racing Santander. The Galicians should have been ahead by the break, in particular when they were awarded a penalty midway through the first half when Juanpe fouled Iriome in the area. However although Manu fired home the first spot kick, the referee ordered a retake for encroachment which he fired over the bar. Pita also headed a corner against the post a few minutes later, but the Cantabrians held on for another away point which keeps them just above the bottom four. Llagostera are just a point behind them though after they won 2-0 against Tenerife, their first victory for eight games. Pitu scored both goals from almost identical free kicks in a three minute period midway through the second half, beating young keeper Carlos Abad, who had to replace the injured Roberto at the interval. Tenerife had Uli Dávila sent off in injury time for a late tackle, and Ifrán was also red carded for insulting the referee after the final whistle. The defeat leaves the Canary Islanders just two points above their hosts in the table. (16.11.14)