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Segunda Roundup, Jornada 4

Going into the season many observers had Almeria, Elche and Villarreal as the "teams to beat" in the Segunda, and after four rounds of play those teams occupy the top three spots.

Almeria suffered their first loss of the season, going down at Sabadell 3-0. A hat-trick from Anibel Zurdo (he had 8 goals for Guadalajara last year in the Segunda and is a thirty-year-old striker) provided all the goals, and gave Sabadell their first win of the season--in fact, their first goals of the season. Can I just say how cool I think Sabadell's blue-and-white quartered home jerseys are?

Elche, meanwhile, won at Cordoba thanks to an early goal from Carles Gil, who was later injured and came off during the first half. Cordoba, like Sabadell, appear to be another of those clubs with a good defense but exactly where goal are coming from could be a problem. As for the ex-Villarreal watch, Kiko Olivas started and was substituted after about an hour, which is about when Joselu came on.

As for Villarreal, they survived the "FIFA virus" and picked up their first road win since May 1st against Sporting in the Primera.

Sporting and Racing both drew 1-1 with Lugo and Huesca respectively, and are both looking for their first wins of the season; they are joint next-to-last on two points. Meanwhile, we have a new colista, with Guadalajara dropping to bottom after losing to Barca B 1-0. Not even the sending off of Barca's defender Sergio Gomez after 70 minutes could help the home team, and in fact the Baby Blaugrana's goal came from a quick break when a man down.

Hercules picked up their first points of the season with a 2-1 victory against Girona. Forget all that fancy stuff like crosses and possession play, all the goals here came from striker sprinting past slow-footed defenders down the middle of the pitch. Braulio scored after 6 minutes in this fashion and then nearly did so again midway through the half; a Girona defender stopped the ball on the line but attempted to slide the ball to the Girona keeper, who neatly sidestepped the short pass, Gilvan Gomes stole in and gleefully poked home the gift, and that turned out to be the winning goal.

More ex-Villarreal news: Javi Matilla scored his second goal of the season (this one a penalty) but Real Murcia still went down 3-2 to Recreativo Huelva.

Alcorcon are starting to pick it up after a slowish start, winning 3-1 at Las Palmas, not easy to do. Another hat-trick here, coming from attacker Oriol.

Other results: Mirandes 0-0 Numancia; Real Madrid Castilla 3-2 Xerez (Jose MAri with a goal in injury time for the sherry boys, by the way).