Second Division - Day 20

Alavés increased their lead at the top of the second division pending Córdoba’s game on Sunday after a 0-1 victory at Numancia on Saturday evening. The Vitoria based side had taken nineteen points from their last seven games, and only a good save from Munir prevented Juli from giving them the lead before the break. Fernando Pacheco had to keep out Ripa, and Alex Alegría hit the post for the locals either side of half time, but with seven minutes to go Sergio Llamas headed in Juli’s cross to hand their hosts their third defeat in a row in the Pajaritos stadium. Alavés are now five points above Alcorcón, who are up to second overnight after a 1-0 win over Girona. Chema got the only goal of the game on the half hour mark after good work by Alvaro Rey, the referee waving away claims for a possible hand ball during the play. Dmitrovic had to save from Mata a few minutes later and David Rodríguez wasted a good chance after the break, but the Madrid based side held on to make it seven games in a row without defeat.

Nàstic drop to sixth however after they were beaten 1-2 by Lugo. All the goals came in the second half, Jonathan Pereira putting the visitors ahead following a cross from Igor Martínez. Naranjo equalized just two minutes later with an individualist effort, but soon afterwards Carlos Hernández headed in a corner to take the Galicians level with their hosts in the table. Mirandés are now a point behind both of them after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Almería. The home side had held Deportivo to a 1-1 draw in the cup midweek, and they went in front when Soriano headed a Kijera corner into his own net at the start of the second half. However Morcillo headed in a long Lolo Reyes free kick soon afterwards to give new coach Gorosito a fourth point in only the second match under his command. Elsewhere Valladolid and Elche also drew 1-1, a result which left the visitors a point behind Mirandés, and their hosts still three points below them in the table. Alvaro Giménez appeared to have given Rubén Baraja’s side the win when he picked up a Sergio León assist and ran on to beat Kepa with twenty minutes to go. Visiting keeper Javi Jiménez made several saves after that, but with the game coming to an end Rodri got on the end of a Diego Rubio cross to head home the equalizer. (09.01.16)

Córdoba return to second place, three points behind leaders Alavés, after a 3-1 victory over Mallorca in the last match on Sunday evening. The Andalusians had been displaced by Alcorcón the previous day, but with half an hour gone they were already two up, and that despite an early penalty miss by Fidel after a foul by Joan Oriol in the area. However Florin got on the end of a Deivid assist to open the scoring, and the Romanian forward set yp Xisco for the second soon afterwards. Substitute Markovic made it three just a minute after coming on, and a late consolation from Brandon couldn’t prevent a defeat which leaves Pepe Gálvez’s side down in the bottom four.

The other five games on Sunday all ended with single goal victories, Oviedo staying a point behind Córdoba in third place after a 1-0 win over Zaragoza in this week’s mid-day game. Toché got on the end of Koné’s centre to score the only goal some three minutes before the interval, and veteran keeper Esteban did the rest, in particular with second half saves from Ortuño. Only two points separate second place from fifth however, Osasuna now level with Alcorcón after beating Huesca 0-1 later in the evening. Kenan Kodro got the goal with an individualist effort on the quarter hour mark, and although both teams had chances after that, the scoreline remained unmoved.

The top five have opened up a three point gap over the rest though, Leganés currently occupying the last play-off spot after a 0-1 victory at Llagostera. Rubén Peña beat René with an angled shot in the fifth minute to open the scoring, and the visitors held on despite having Insua sent off for a foul on Benja with ten minutes to go. The Catalans have only picked up two points from their last five games, and they stay in next to bottom spot, still above Athletic Bilbao, who lost 0-1 to Albacete. Unai López missed a penalty for the youngsters in only the second minute, and Adri Gómez got the winner for the Manchegans following a wide free kick with the game in the third minute of injury time. Albacete move three points clear of the drop zone, and Tenerife also distanced themselves from the relegation spots with a 0-1 win at a rainy Ponferradina. The locals had lost their first game this season in the Toralín stadium only two weeks ago, but a late strike by Nano on a rapid counter-attack tied up a much needed three points for the Canary Islanders. (10.01.16)