Promotion Play-offs - Segunda B - Week 6

Penalties, penalties… oh why is it always penalties? A crucial spot-kick saved and another hitting the woodwork. Sunday night in Kiev? No, this was Sunday night in Cadiz, as the home fans watched their beloved team fall at the final hurdle to Lugo in the cruellest of fashions.

Trailing 1-3 from the away leg in Galicia, 15,000 fans filled the Estadio Ramon de Carranza in the hope that their heroes could overturn the deficit. They were rewarded as early as the 13th minute when Ferreiro slotted home Gongora’s cross with a neat left-foot finish. A quick break from Lugo on the half-hour saw Monty score an equaliser, leaving Cádiz back at square one.  Their plight was not helped by Perez's penalty miss on the stroke of half-time The Cádistas rallied and scored with the first attack of the second half, when Dioni met a perfect cross to head home on 46 minutes. Juanjo levelled up the tie when he bundled home a third in the 63rd minute.
Euphoria in Cádiz as Lugo return to La Segunda after a two decade absence
Cádiz’ exertions saw them hit the wall however, and it was Lugo who looked the most likely to score as the tie entered extra-time. Berodia missed two good chances to seal the tie for the Galicians. And so to the penalties, and it was Lugo who blinked first when Argentine full back Belforti saw his kick well saved by Cádiz keeper Aulestia. Any advantage was immediately wiped-out however as Akinsola blasted his kick wide. Luismi evened things up for Lugo, before Cases saw his shot saved by Lugo’s Escalona. Aulestia kept Cádiz’s hopes alive with another excellent save, this time from the unlucky Berodia. Yuste had the chance to put Cádiz ahead with their fifth spot kick, but his shot struck the inside of the post and rolled agonisingly across the face of goal to safety. So it was left to Lugo midfielder Quero to slot home the winning penalty that sees the this club from the far north west of Spain return to La Segunda after a nineteen year absence. Here's extended footage of the penalty shoot-out. This is bit over-dramatic but it shows all the crucial moments of the match. 

The other tie was not nearly as nail-biting, but it did have a decisive penalty and its share of controversy. Leading 1-0 from the first leg, Ponferradina travelled to the Canary Islands to face favourites CD Tenerife. Despite coming under early pressure, Ponferradina settled well and held on to their slender lead as the first half finished goalless.
"Is this your card?" - Kitoko sees red and Tenerife implode
That all changed in the first minute of the second half, when neat inter-play from Ponferradina saw Isaias burst into the Tenerife penalty area. He took a tumble under no perceivable contact and a penalty was awarded. To add insult to injury, Tenerife’s Kitoko was judge to have tripped Isaias and was shown a straight red. When play resumed, Yuri stepped up to double Ponferradina’s advantage. With Tenerife requiring three goals to win the tie, Tenerife coach Medina made three quick substitutions to boost his attacking options. However no sooner he had made the third of those changes, then Ponferradina scored their second of the day. Acoran latched on to a hopeful punt up field and laid off the perfect pass for Didac to score with a precision shot from the edge of the area. With Tenerife deflated and the Estadio Heliodoro Rodríguez Lopéz rapidly emptying, the game petered out to its now inevitable conclusion, although Kiko Raton scored for the islanders with a fine volley in added time.

So CD Lugo & SD Ponferradina join Real Madrid Castilla and CD Mirandés in the second division for the 2012-13 season. It will be Mirandés debut season in the second tier, but based on their form in the Copa del Rey this past year, they have little to fear. Real Madrid Castilla proved they were the strongest outfit in Segunda B this season and they should also fair well, and  they will also have the added bonus of two mini El Clasico’s when they face Barcelona B. As for the other two promoted sides, both Lugo and Ponferradina face a struggle to avoid a repeat of their last visits to La Segunda, which ended in relegation after a single season. Little over 70 miles separate both teams and the results of the hotly contested derbies could prove the difference between survival and relegation.