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No Miracle in Melilla: Villarreal B are out of the playoffs

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As so often, dominance didn’t translate into goals.

Ciudad Deportiva (2)
All over at the Mini for the summer, sadly
S.R. Sidarth

The season has ended for Villarreal’s B team after a 2-1 defeat to Melilla yesterday. Mario Gonzalez gave the mini-submarine the lead, but the home side equalized, and with Villarreal throwing everyone forward needing two goals to advance (and hitting a post) Melilla scored late on.

Yet again, dominance on the pitch didn’t translate into goals. This is the third time in the last four years we have made it to the playoffs; we lost at this stage to Logroñes in 2016, and made it to the final playoff round last season, losing to Elche.

It was not a good day for other sides from our Segunda B group, either. Atletico Baleares drop into the next round after losing to Racing Santander on away goals, and Cornella were eliminated. Herculés live to fight again though.

With Fuenlabrada and Racing having claimed two of the four promotion spots, the next round matches are:

Melilla—Atlético Baleares

Mirandés—Recreativo Huelva

Herculés—UD Logroñes

Cartagena—Ponferradina

The losers go home, the four winners move on and two of them will be promoted.

It’s worth remembering the numbers here: only four of the eighty teams in the Segunda B (5%), will be promoted, and two of those promotion winners will be teams that have won their group. So if you don’t win your group but make the playoffs, you are one of 16 teams fighting for TWO promotion spots.

Imagine for a minute if you had ONE relegation spot from the Primera, and the teams ranked 2-9 in the Segunda had a three-round elimination tournament to choose the team that would play the Segunda champions to get that one promotion spot. That’s comparable to what is required to get out of the Segunda B.

As for getting into the Segunda B, that is not easy either. There are 18 spots vacated by relegated sides; 9 of those spots are claimed by 9 of the 18 group winners. Since there are 360 teams in the Tercera, only 5% will be promoted in a given year, and half of those will be group winners.