Second Division B - play-offs, day 2

Gimnàstic Tarragona and Real Oviedo are the first teams to be promoted after winning their two-leg group champions finals this Sunday. Nàstic beat Huesca 3-1 to return to the second division after a three year absence, a relief for the Catalans who just missed out on promotion last season. All the goals came in the second half, Lago Junior opening the scoring with a long shot which went in off both posts. A few minutes later David Rocha headed the second from Azkorra’s cross, and soon afterwards Manolo got himself sent off for stepping on Rocha’s hand as he lay on the floor. With ten minutes to go substitute Marcos ran through to lob Dani Jiménez for the third, and although Mainz got one back following a late corner, the goal came too late to change the result. Meanwhile Oviedo’s twelve year exile came to an end after they won 0-1 at Cádiz. A 1-1 draw in the first leg gave the Andalusians the advantage, and a 25,000 crowd was boosted by some 2,500 travelling fans. Veteran keeper Esteban kept the hosts at bay however, and David Fernández headed what was to prove the only goal from Susaeta’s corner early on in the second half.

Huesca and Cádiz have a second chance though, the two clubs joining six other teams in a straight knock-out for the two remaining places. Both will be seeded and will play the second legs at home, and one will meet Hércules, the only one of the sides finishing fourth in their regional group to make it through after Logroñés lost yesterday, and Villanovense and Real Unión were beaten today. Villanovense went into their match at the San Mamés stadium against Bilbao Athletic (Athletic Bilbao’s B team) with a 2-1 advantage from the first leg, but they were knocked out in the end after losing 2-0. Both goals came late on after visiting defender Tapia had been sent off, Gorka Iturraspe getting on the end of Lekue’s cross to open the scoring. With the away goal that put the Basque side ahead, and a nervous Carlos Fernández also got himself sent off before Santamaría connected with Merino’s assist to wrap things up. It was some consolation at least for the home fans who had seen their first team beaten by Barcelona in the cup final the day before.

Real Unión are also out of the play-offs after they lost 1-0 to UCAM Murcia. The Irún based side were left with ten men when Silas Sidati was sent off with a straight red card just before the break, but although Javi Gómez had a headed goal ruled out near the end, the Basque team held on to take the game into extra time. Gómez headed a cross past Otermin however a few minutes later to take his side into the next round, the only remaining team from the town after Real Murcia were knocked out on Saturday. Elsewhere Racing Ferrol made it through after they drew 1-1 at Reus, the single goal from the first leg making the difference. Visiting keeper Mackay had to make several saves throughout the match, but with twenty minutes to go Marcos Alvarez ran through to score a vital away goal, and although Fran Carbia made it all square with seven minutes left on the clock, the Catalans were never going to score the two more they needed to overturn the result.

The two relegation play-offs took place on Sunday lunchtime as well, Real Avilés and Las Palmas Atlético going down after losing their respective ties. Aviles were virtually out after they were beaten 1-4 by Eldense in the first leg, but they at least saved a bit of pride with a 2-3 victory in the return match in Elda. Any hope of a turnaround though ended when Doménech put the Valencia based side ahead on the half hour mark. Guardiola added a second from the penalty spot at the start of the second half, and three in the last quarter of an hour from Borja, Gerardo and Geni only came after the locals decided to relax. Las Palmas B put up a better fight though, and they only go down on the away goal rule after drawing 1-1 against Cartagena. Jesús Alvaro opened the scoring for the Canary Islanders on the hour mark, but a goal by Carlos Martínez with twelve minutes to go dashed any hope of them saving themselves. Both would be the first to be reprieved however if any other club is relegated for failing to meet their financial obligations by the stipulated deadline in a few weeks’ time. (31.05.15)

Once again the group champions’ play-offs are taking place on Sunday, but three teams made it through to stage two of the regular play-offs after winning through their respective ties on Saturday. Hércules provided the surprise of the evening though, the Alicante based side winning 0-1 at Real Murcia after drawing the first leg 1-1. Miñano failed to convert an early chance for the visitors, but Chema had to make saves from Carlos Alvarez and Javi Flores to keep the scoreline unmoved. However with three minutes to go Cuevas headed on a David González free kick for Fran González to volley home the winning goal. Guadalajara join Hércules in Monday’s “sorteo”, a 1-1 draw at home to Almería B taking them through on the away goal rule. With their first team relegated, the visitors were actually ineligible for promotion, but they gave it their all, Romera missing an early chance and Iván Sánchez going close with a free kick. Abel Molinero went close a couple of times though before beating Gianfranco on the stroke of half time, and although Hicham levelled the scores with just under an hour gone, the home side held on to the end. A controversial match elsewhere between Huracán and UD Logroñés, the Valencia based side going through after coming from behind to win 2-1. Camochu put the Riojanos ahead following a corner early on in the second half, and visiting keeper Miguel saved a Luismi Loro penalty soon afterwards. However the game stopped for twelve minutes or so when the referee injured himself, a member of the public replacing the linesman who took over, and after that the locals were awarded a hotly disputed penalty when Moisés was sent off for handling in the area, Jesús Rubio converting the spot kick. Logroñés were left with nine men when Chevi also picked up a second booking soon afterwards, and with the game in extra time Javi Navarro scored the winner. (30.05.15)