The second division promises to be more competitive than ever this season, with the relegated Sporting, Granada and Osasuna joining a host of teams with a long pedigree in the top flight. Two of the sides recently promoted from the regional divisions kicked off the new campaign though, Lorca celebrating their first ever match at this level with a 2-0 victory over Cultural Leonesa (who themselves are back for the first time in 44 years). Eugeni got the opener with an inswinging corner which keeper Jesús Fernández could only help in to the net, and Carlos Martínez got on the end of Apeh’s cross to poke home the second near the end. Tenerife and Zaragoza will be hoping to be amongst the teams fighting to go up this year though, the Canary Islanders getting the edge over their rivals with a 1-0 win later in the evening. Keepers Dani Hernández and Alvaro Ratón both had saves to make, but Carlos Ruíz headed the only goal from a Juan Carlos corner some ten minutes in to the second half. (18.08.17)
Cádiz missed out on promotion last season after they were beaten by Tenerife in the play-offs, and they got off to a good start this year with a 1-2 win at regional rivals Córdoba on Saturday. New signing David Barral opened the scoring after Salvi set him up with less than a minute on the clock, and Alvaro García added a second on the half hour mark. Markovic did get one back for the hosts in injury time following a corner, but the final whistle went seconds later. Barcelona B also won 1-2 at Valladolid later in the evening in their first match since returning to the second division, Choco Lozano giving them the lead from Tarín’s assist with just under half an hour gone, and then crossing in for Cardona to make it two before the interval. Iban Salvador scored for the locals though soon after the restart, and only some good saves by Varo prevented Luis César’s team from saving a point.
Numancia also began the new campaign with a 1-0 victory over Huesca, Pere Milla picking up a pass from Iñigo to score the only goal at the start of the second half. The visitors had Carlos David sent off for a second bookable offence soon afterwards. Earlier in the day two of the newly relegated sides were held to draws, Sporting Gijón sharing the points at Alcorcón in a match which ended without goals, a logical result given temperatures as high as 35˚C. Osasuna meanwhile could only draw 1-1 against Sevilla Atlético, David Rodríguez heading the locals in front from Clerc’s cross some ten minutes in to the second half, and Alex Muñoz making it all square just a minute later. Unai García felt himself unlucky to have a strike ruled out for a borderline offside though in the dying minutes. (19.08.17)
Three more games on Sunday, Rayo Vallecano ending the day in second place (behind Lorca) after a 2-3 victory at Oviedo. Saúl Berjón fired the Asturians in to the lead in the tenth minute, but a header by Amaya and a strike by Embarba turned the scoreline around by the break. Diego Aguirre added a third from Trejo’s assist a quarter of an hour or so in to the second half, but Berjón latched on to Hidi’s pass to net his second of the evening a few minutes later, and the locals could have saved a point had Linares not hit the bar later on. Almería also started their new campaign with a 0-1 win at Nàstic, Pablo Caballero getting the only goal on the half hour mark. Granada though could only draw 0-0 later in the evening against Albacete, a team who last season were two divisions below the Andalusians. (20.08.17)
As a general rule there are a lot fewer goals scored in the Spanish second division than in the first, and this proved to be the case again as Lugo and Reus played out the third 0-0 draw of the extended weekend on a hot Monday evening. Neither keeper was particularly troubled throughout the ninety minutes. (21.08.17)