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Second Division - Day 42

An incredible end to the season in the second division, Girona missing out on promotion with virtually the last kick of the match, and Sporting Gijón going up in their place. Girona needed to win against Lugo, and Sandaza latched on to a Granell pass to put them ahead on the stroke of half time. The striker hit the post at the start of the second half, but Becerra had to save from Toni, and Pita went close a couple of times before Caballero headed the equalizer for the Galicians in the 90th minute. The game was suspended though for almost half an hour when a linesman was hit by a bottle after an injury time strike by Lajeune for the Catalans was ruled out for offside, and there was an immense confusion before the teams were called back onto the pitch to play out the last 40 seconds. With Girona drawing, Sporting needed to win by two clear goals at the already promoted Betis to overtake them in the table on goal difference (the head-to-head record being level). The Asturians went one better though, a 0-3 victory seeing them return to the top flight after a three year absence. Carmona hit the post before Guerrero latched on to a Luis Hernández pass to open the scoring midway through the first half. Substitute Jony added a second on the hour mark after Hugo Fraile crossed in from the wing, and Isma López wrapped things up with a third goal soon afterwards. .

Girona will have to pick themselves up however for the play-offs, where they will meet Zaragoza in the second of the two-leg semi-finals this Thursday. The Maños held on to sixth place despite a 2-2 draw at Leganés, Ponferradina unable to catch them after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Alcorcón. Although they had nothing to play for Leganés took the lead in only the third minute when Chuli beat Bono with an angled shot. Some ten minutes later though Willian José equalized from the penalty spot after Santamaría handled in the area, and with eight minutes to go to the break Eldin picked up Willian José’s back-heel pass to put the visitors in front. Eraso levelled it again before the break after Bono could only block a shot from Rubén Peña, and with no further goals in an intense heat, all ears were on the radio after the final whistle. The news from the Toralín stadium was what they wanted to hear though, Ponfe falling a goal short of a first ever appearance in the play-offs in the end. David Rodríguez put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot after Alan Baró fouled Mayor in the area, and although Yuri equalized just a minute later after good work by Acorán, they were unable to find a way past Falcón after that.

The other semi-final will be on Wednesday evening between Valladolid and Las Palmas, both of whom were already qualified a couple of weeks ago. Valladolid come into the tie on the back of a defeat though after they were beaten 2-4 by Llagostera in their last game. Jonathan Pereira got the opener for Rubi’s side midway through the first half, but strikes by Imaz and Sergio León in the run up to half time turned the scoreline around. Eloy Gila netted a third for the visitors after the restart, and although Tulio de Melo got another one back, Arturo completed the scoring for the Catalans with five minutes to go. Las Palmas however ended the regular season with a 3-2 victory over Alavés, Momo giving them the lead from the penalty spot and Ortuño making it two before the break. Héctor Figueroa scored a third after the restart, and although Juli and Despotovic replied for the visitors later on, they couldn’t prevent a fifth win in a row for the Canary Islanders.

Excitement as well in the battle to avoid the drop, Osasuna saving themselves in the last minute after coming back from two behind to draw 2-2 at the already relegated Sabadell. The Pamplona based side only needed a point to be sure of staying up, but their hosts caught them out with goals by Collantes and Aníbal in the first quarter of an hour. However David García got one back with fifteen minutes remaining, and the Catalans were left with ten men when Aníbal picked up a second booking. All seemed lost though until the first minute of time added on when Javi Flaño headed the equalizer, and the game had to be stopped for a few minutes as the excited visiting fans invaded the pitch. The draw kept Osasuna a point above Racing Santander, who go down despite a 0-1 win at Albacete. Alvaro García headed in Quique’s cross with half an hour gone, and the Cantabrians held on after that for the only result which could have kept them up, albeit in the end to no avail. Racing will however be hoping for a reprieve as several clubs are struggling to meet their financial obligations, and any one of them could be relegated in their place.

The other two teams in the bottom four also met, Recreativo running out 2-0 winners over Barcelona B to end the season in twentieth spot. Nuñez and Jesús Vázquez got the goals later on in the first half to leave the youngsters at the foot of the table. Two other games with nothing at stake, Mirandés finishing a respectable eighth after a 2-0 victory over Mallorca. Pedro Martín got both the goals, the first in the seventh minute, and the second with the match already in injury time. And Numancia and Tenerife drew 3-3 later in the evening, the lead changing hands twice before both sides settled for a point. Aridane put the Canary Islanders in front with a quarter of an hour gone, but strikes either side of half time by Julio Alvarez and Regalón turned things around. Carlos Ruíz and Juan Carlos scored two in as many minutes on the hour mark, but a Julio Alvarez penalty soon afterwards saved the day for the locals. (07.06.15)