Girona plays against Tenerife for the last promotion place in Spain


MADRID (AP) — Girona defeated Eibar in the semi-finals of Spain’s league promotion playoffs in extra time on Sunday, setting up a final against Tenerife to claim the last remaining place in next season’s Premier League.

Borja Garcia scored in the first minute of play and Cristhian Stuani increased the lead early in extra time to give the visitors a 2-0 win and a 2-1 aggregate win.

The Basque club Eibar won the first leg in Girona 1-0. They needed a win at bottom Alcorcón on the last day of the regular season to automatically secure a place in the top flight, but they lost 1-0. It played in the top flight for seven consecutive years before being relegated last season.

“We almost made it in Alcorcón. It was really cruel,” said Eibar midfielder Edu Expósito. “We have to thank the fans for their support. It’s sad for her.”

Valladolid, the club of former Brazilian striker Ronaldo, automatically secured promotion thanks to Eibar’s last-round setback. Almería was also promoted after topping the second division table.

Girona have been in the second tier for 12 of the last 14 seasons, with consecutive appearances in the top division from 2017–19.

“We never gave up,” Stuani said. “We’ve been fighting for this all year. It will be a hard-fought final.”

Tenerife, who are attempting to return to the top tier for the first time since 2009/10, reached the play-off final by defeating Canary Islands rivals Las Palmas 3-1 on Saturday after a 2-1 away win. The first leg was won 1-0 at home. Las Palmas tried to make it back to the top flight for the first time since 2017/18.

The two-legged final kicks off next weekend, with Girona playing the first game in Catalonia and Tenerife playing the second in the Canary Islands.

Granada, Levante and Alavés have been relegated from the first division this season.


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