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Segunda Roundup, Jornada 26: Elche extends lead at the top as pursuers falter

The late England manager Ron Greenwood once said (in fact, I believe it was after England went out of the World Cup in Spain) "Being given chances and not taking them, that's what life is all about". What does that have to do with last week in the Segunda Division? Well, of the top seven clubs going into the weekend, only Elche was able to win. They seem sure to win one of the automatic promotion places, but their pursuers all blew chances to move up.

Almeria shared the spoils at Guadalajara, 2-2. The home side scored in the first minute and were two ahead by the first quarter of the match, but keeper Brimah was sent off in the 44th minute, Charles converted the penalty, and Cristian Fernandez scored in the 77th minute to earn a share of the points. With Ulloa gone, ex-Villarreal B man Iago Falque, who came on loan from Spurs, is getting more playing time for Almeria.

Cordoba left it late but an injury-time goal from Joselu (on loan from Villarreal, of course) gave them a home draw with Alcorcon. Oriol Riera scored his 14th goal of the season for Pepe Bordelas's men, but they remain one point behind Almeria for that second automatic promotion spot.

Villarreal, as already documented here, could only draw with Hercules, but at least the Submarine came away with a point. Girona seems to be falling away, with only one win in their last eight matches. Las Palmas moved up to seventh in the table with a comprehensive 5-2 victory against the Catalans, with two goals from Vitolo and one each from Thiery, Tato and Nauzet. It was 5-0 until ten minutes to go!

The "hot" team right now looks to be Recreativo, though this is to some degree an artefact of their schedule. Still, they've won four of their last five, and after winning on the road last week in Murcia, won 1-0 over Santander thanks to Chuli's 14th goal of the season. They should do okay this week against Lugo, but then they have six matches against teams ahead of them in the table.

As typically happens, the table is beginning to shake out, with a five-point gap between eleventh-placed Ponfe and Numancia, in 12th. Signs of life from Hercules and Mirandes might be enough to save them, but Racing, and certainly Xerez, look doomed at this point unless something drastically changes.

Other results:

Ponferradina 3-2 Barcelona B

Sabadell 3-1 Real Madrid B

Sporting 0-2 Elche

Huesca 3-0 Lugo

Mirandes 0-1 Real Murcia

Numancia 3-0 Xerez