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Second Division - Day 36

Betis’s lead at the top of the table has been cut to four points after the Andalusians were held to a 2-2 draw by Llagostera on Saturday evening. The Catalans have been the revelation team this year, and Arturo and Ríos went close before Juanjo got on the end of Pitu’s wide free kick to open the scoring with eight minutes to go to the break, the referee waving away appeals for offside. Rubén Castro connected with Molinero’s cross to beat René and equalize though just a minute into the second half, and Dani Ceballos, Jorge Molina and Xavi Torres all tried their luck before Castro took advantage of a slip by Alcalá to score his second with some twenty minutes to go. However five minutes later Tito latched on to a loose ball outside of the area to thrash an impressive shot into the top corner of Adán’s net, and the visitors held on after that to extend their unbeaten run to thirteen games.

Girona consolidated second spot after a 3-0 victory over Osasuna, and they are currently looking good for a first ever promotion to the top flight. The Catalans started strongly, and Riesgo had to make a couple of saves before Mata picked up Granell’s centre to open the scoring in the ninth minute. Becerra had to keep out a Nino header before the break, but Mata got his second of the match on the hour mark after Cifuentes sent him away to lob keeper Riesgo, and Lafuente wrapped things up soon afterwards with a third goal following a corner. Girona remain five points clear of fourth placed Las Palmas, who beat Sabadell 2-0 to keep alive their hopes of making it into the direct promotion spots. The Canary Islanders wasted several chances early on, and it was not until six minutes in to the second half that substitute Jonathan Viera put them ahead with a well struck free kick. And Araujo made sure of the three points with a late penalty after Hernán was brought down in the area, thereby ending Sabadell’s run of nine matches without defeat.

Several teams are vying for what may well be the one remaining play-off spot, and Numancia moved to within three points of sixth place after a 1-0 victory over Alavés. The Soria based side started the day a point behind their opponents, and Munir had to make saves from Juanma before the break and Juli later on to keep the scores level. The locals felt they should have had a couple of penalties before the interval, but with a draw seemingly on the cards Sergi Enrich got on the end of Vicente’s cross to head the winner past Goitia with eight minutes to go. Alcorcón are now level on points with Alavés after they beat Racing Santander 2-0, the Cantabrians staying in the bottom four as a result of the defeat. The locals themselves had not won in five games and had not scored a single goal in four, but with just under half an hour gone David Rodríguez picked up an assist from Fausto to beat Mario. The result was in doubt though until the fourth minute of injury time, when Rodríguez converted a penalty after Mariano was sent off for a foul on Héctor Verdés. (02.05.15)

Sporting Gijón kept up their push for the direct promotion spots, a 1-0 victory over Mallorca on Sunday evening keeping them two points behind second placed Girona. The Asturians dominated the first half, although visiting keeper Cabrero wasn’t really tested until he had to keep out a Guerrero header with five minute to go to the break. Soon afterwards however Truyols brought down Guerrero in the area, and Hugo Fraile stepped up to give his side the lead from the resulting penalty. After the restart the locals pulled back to protect the result, and any hope the islanders had of saving a point ended when substitute Pau Cendrós was sent off for bringing down Carlos Castro just a minute or so after he came on. Valladolid also stay in the hunt for the top two spots after they beat Leganés 2-0, and they remain in fifth place, four points below Sporting in the table. A heavy rainfall made play difficult, and visiting striker Chuli had a goal ruled out for offside before Alvaro Rubio headed past Serantes following a long free kick to open the scoring with seven minutes to go to the break. Roger wrapped things up though from the penalty spot after Rubén Peña chopped down Oscar in the area some twenty minutes in to the second half.

The top five have opened up a nine point gap over the rest though, Zaragoza currently occupying sixth place after a 1-1 draw at Ponferradina in this Sunday’s mid-day game. With both teams tied on points it was a tense match, and the first goal came in controversial circumstances following a corner early on in the second half, Cabrera appearing to foul keeper Kepa before Valera’s header hit the post, Borja knocking in the rebound. Local coach Manolo Díaz was sent off for protesting, but less than five minutes later his team were level, Andy heading in Pablo Infante’s corner, and visiting keeper Bono had to make a couple of important saves late on to ensure the point. The Maños stay above their rivals though as they have the better head-to-head record. Lugo lost ground in the battle for that last play-off spot however, and they ended the day seven points adrift of Zaragoza after drawing 1-1 at Tenerife. Both goals came in the last five minutes, Alvaro Peña putting the Galicians in front after Ferreiro set him up on a quick counter-attack, and Vitolo making it all square from the penalty spot after Borja Gómez fouled Maxi Pérez in the area.

Mirandés move a point above Lugo after a 2-1 victory over bottom club Recreativo. Urko Vera was awarded the opening goal, although he knew little about it as Pedro Martín’s shot rebounded off his back to wrong-foot Dani Sotres midway through the first half. The locals were left with ten men when Carnicer picked up a second booking just seven minutes after the interval, but Alex García made it two after Martin set him up a few minutes later, and Alvaro Antón’s goal with two minutes to go came too late to change the result. Recre are now four points away from safety, and Barcelona B are just a point above them after they lost 2-1 at Albacete. All the goals came after the break, Gonzalo heading the first past Suárez from a corner some six minutes after the restart. Munir got on the end of Dongou’s cross to head the equalizer a quarter of an hour later, but Rubén Cruz won it for the Manchegans with ten minutes to go, the striker firing a shot past the keeper after Edgar Ié gave the ball away to Chumbi. (03.05.15)