The Segunda B promotion playoffs are in full swing, with two of the four promotion spots to the Segunda A already claimed. Cultural Leonesa defeated Barcelona B 4-1 on aggregate and Lorca FC (formerly La Hoya Lorca) defeated Albacete on away goals, 1-1 to gain promotion.
Leonesa have been in the Segunda before, though not since 1975 (they had one Primera season, 1955-56, as well). Ex Villarreal B and C goalkeeper Jorge Palatsi is a member of their current squad.
Lorca are a different story, having been formed in 2003 and rising rapidly through the ranks—promotion to the top regional league in 2007, to the Tercera in 2010, to the Segunda B in 2013, and now to Segunda proper. The club is owned by Chinese investors, apparently. They also have Villarreal connections: midfielder Cristian Bustos began in our youth system (though never played for us after turning 18) and defender Molo spent one year (2007-08) with our B team. Give yourself some points if you remember him—I certanly don’t!
There are eight teams vying for two remaining Segunda places. The matchups in the next round are:
Atletico Baleares v Albacete
Valencia B v Real Murcia
Villanovense v Racing Santander
FC Cartagena v Barcelona B
Three of the four teams that finished in the playoff places in Group 3 (Villarreal B’s group) are still in with a chance of promotion—Alcoyano lost out in the first round to Cartagena.
As far as promotion TO the Segunda B, those playoffs are in full swing too. How this works is there are 18 teams that get relegated from the Segunda B; the nine winners from the ‘finals’ matches are automatically promoted to the Segunda B. A bunch of B teams have been promoted: Atleti, Depor, Las Palmas, Zaragoza, Betis.
There are 36 teams left vying for the other nine promotion spots, including Castellón, Olimpic Xàtiva and Ontinyent from Villarreal C’s group 6.
The Segunda División is winding its way down: there are two matches left.
Levante are champions; Girona need a point to win promotion, though they’ve made heavy weather of it, losing two of their last three and picking up only 11 points from their last 11 outings.
At the bottom, Mirandés have been relegated; sadly, Elche look like they may be next, with only three wins in the last four months. Mallorca, Alcorcon, and Nastic Tarragona are all trying to avoid the drop as well, while Almeria and UCAM Murcia are almost assured of safety.