Second Division - Day 41

With virtually everything still to play for coming in to the penultimate weekend of the season, almost all matches have been synchronized to take place at 20:00 on Sunday evening. However the game between Lugo and league champions Levante was brought forward to Friday, the Galicians running out 1-0 victors to move up to eighth in the table pending the remaining fixtures. Rubén García hit the woodwork for the visitors, but Joselu took advantage of a bad back pass by Campaña to score the only goal with five minutes to go, his 23rd of the season taking him one clear of Roger (who missed this match through injury) in the second division “Pichichi” table. (02.06.17)

Girona are promoted to the first division for the first time in their history after an event-less 0-0 draw against Zaragoza on Sunday! With the Catalans just needing a point to go up in the second of the direct promotion spots, and the Maños also needing one to be mathematically safe, the result was a foregone conclusion, so much so that bookmakers had withdrawn the match from their betting slips. Having missed out on direct promotion in the last minute of the last day two seasons ago though Pablo Machín’s side were never going to let this one slip, and neither team managed a meaningful shot at goal throughout the ninety minutes.

Three of the play-off spots are now decided, Getafe virtually making sure of third place after a 4-0 win over Almería. Ex-Almería striker Chuli netted twice in the first twenty minutes, and Cala headed a third from a Damián Suárez corner before Jorge Molina wrapped things up near the end. Cádiz climbed to fourth after a 2-1 victory over Elche, Aridane heading the opener from a corner early on in the second half, and Salvi adding a second soon afterwards. Guillermo got one back for the visitors in the last minute, but the goal came too late to prevent a defeat which leaves them down in the second division B having only picked up one point from their last eight games. Tenerife meanwhile are sure of at least sixth place despite a 0-1 defeat against Nàstic after results elsewhere went in their favour. Uche got the only goal for the Catalans after Dani Hernández could only push out a shot from Juan Delgado on the hour mark to keep the Catalans two points above the drop zone.

The other play-off place is between Huesca, Valladolid and Oviedo, with Huesca having the edge over the other two teams following a 0-0 draw against Numancia. The locals had the better of the match, but the woodwork and Aitor kept them at bay to secure the point the visitors needed to stay up. Valladolid drop out of the top six though, below Huesca on head-to-head goal difference, after they lost 2-0 at Reus. Both goals came midway through the first half, Vitor Silva getting the first with a direct free kick, and Alberto Benito the second with an impressive shot from outside of the area after a corner came out to him. Oviedo kept their hopes alive as well with a 1-0 win over Sevilla Atlético which takes them to within two points of their rivals in the table. Christian Fernández scored the goal late in the first half with a little bit of fortune, his attempted centre following a long free kick looping over Ondoa and in to the net, thereby ending a run of seven games without a victory.

Mallorca will be going down with Elche after they could only draw 2-2 against the already relegated Mirandés. Sergi Barjuán’s side needed a win to have any chance of staying up, but they went two behind following strikes by Maikel Mesa and Guarrotxena, and although Culio got one back before the break, Lekic’s late equalizer left them with too little time to save the day. That just leaves one more place, Alcorcón still in the bottom four even though they won 0-1 at UCAM Murcia, Pablo Pérez scoring the winner from an Iván Alejo cross shortly before the interval. The university team themselves are now just a point above Alcorcón, level in the table with Almería, and next weekend they visit Nàstic, who need a draw in that match to be safe after their victory today in the Canary Isles. Alcorcón and Almería have home games against Lugo and Reus though next Saturday, neither of whom having anything to play for, and the battle looks like going right down to the wire. Córdoba will be staying up however after they won 1-2 at Rayo Vallecano, Raúl Baena’s early opener overturned by goals from Javi Galán soon afterwards, and Alfaro in the second half. (04.06.17)