Yesterday was testament to the belief that football does indeed never really stop to fascinate us, even after a Champions League final, when people could be forgiven for forgetting about arguably less important match-ups. However, what Spain’s second division served up on Sunday was nothing short of incredible.
Ahead of the final day of the campaign, Real Betis had already secured promotion and played host to third-placed Sporting Gijon, who found themselves two points behind Girona. Whilst the first two places mean direct promotion to La Liga, teams occupying places three to six have to go into the promotion play-offs, a set-up similar to that in England.
Second-placed Girona hosted Lugo and went into half-time with a 1-0 lead, after former Dundee and Rangers striker Francisco Sandaza put the team ahead with his 14th goal of the campaign in the 44th minute. Girona seemed confident from that point on and were able to hold on to the lead until the first minute of injury time, when Lugo’s Caballero struck for the opponents to break the hearts of the Girona faithful. Despite the setback, it seemed as though, the club from Catalonia were able to come back and scored the 2-1 with only seconds to go, but the goal was ruled due to an offside position.
Girona’s bad luck ultimately led to Sporting Gijon’s return to La Liga. Girona will now have to go into the play-offs and might still achieve the dream of being promoted by overcoming the challenge from the likes of Valladolid and Zaragoza. If Girona achieve the feat, Catalonia will have another triumph to celebrate, after Barcelona brought home the Champions League title.