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LIGA ADELANTE

Deportivo Alavés back in big time after 10-year absence

The Basque side will join neighbours Eibar, Real Sociedad and Athletic in Primera next season after clinching promotion with one game to spare.

Deportivo Alavés back in big time after 10-year absence
PAULINO ORIBE DIARIO AS

Basque side Alavés have been promoted to La Liga by beating visitors Numancia 2-0 on Sunday, returning to the top flight after a 10-year absence.

Madrid outfit Leganés, aiming to reach La Liga for the first time, must wait until the last round of matches despite beating Llagostera 2-0 at home after fellow promotion hopefuls Gimnástic de Tarragona won 3-0 at Lugo.

Alavés lead the Liga Adelante (second tier) on 74 points, while Leganes are second on 71 and Gimnástic third with 70.

The top two get automatic promotion with a third place in La Liga available via the playoffs. Gimnástic, Zaragoza, Córdoba and Girona currently occupy the playoff spots, with the games commencing after the regular season ends next week.

Alavés have spent 11 seasons in La Liga, first getting promoted in 1930. The club's greatest moment was reaching the 2001 UEFA Cup final, losing a thrilling contest with Liverpool 5-4 after extra-time.

Alavés were last in the top flight in 2005/06, being relegated a year after promotion. The club dropped into Spain's regionalised tier in 2009, remaining there until 2013.

Their promotion means there will be four clubs from the Basque country in Spain's top flight as they join Eibar and La Liga mainstays Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad.

Leganés' victory saw Llagostera, the smallest team in the Liga Adelante, relegated to the regionalised Segunda Division B.