Rubi’s Rojiblancos are back in the Spanish elite division for the first time since 2014–15
Almeria have secured promotion to La Liga after a 2-2 draw with Leganes on Sunday evening to finish as Segunda Division winners.
A 53rd-minute strike from Umar Sadiq ensured the game ended on a no winner no vanquished note – leaving the Rojiblancos to finish the 2021-22 campaign with 81 points.
Rubi’s men travelled to Estadio Butarque needing a point to guarantee an automatic ticket to the Spanish elite division.
Nevertheless, it was the Cucumber Growers who took the lead after nine minutes as Borja Garces beat goalkeeper Fernando Martinez after he was teed up by Javier Hernandez.
That lead lasted for just six minutes as Rodrigo Ely restored parity for the visiting side.
In the goal-laden first half, the hosts regained the lead through Nigerian defender Kenneth Omeruo.
That accounted for his second league goal in the just-concluded campaign after his first in Leganes’ 2-0 away win at Malaga on December 18, 2021.
Red-hot Sadiq levelled matters for Almeria eight minutes into the second half thanks to an assist from Lucas Robertone.
With no goals in the remaining minutes of the tight encounter, the showdown finished all square as Almeria scaled through.
The Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos side were demoted to the second tier after finishing in 19th place in the 2014-15 season.
Prior to Sunday’s match, Alejandro Pozo had expressed his team’s optimism about returning to La Liga after disappointments in the last two seasons.
“We have another shot and automatic promotion cannot escape us this time,” he told the club website.
“At this point with 80 points we should’ve earned a promotion but this year anything can happen between the three teams that are fighting for it but I truly hope that one of the two teams will be us because honestly, we’ve been at the top all season.
“Our goal is to go all out and win. We depend on ourselves and that’s vital.”
Nigeria international Sadiq played a key role in this triumph after contributing 18 goals and nine assists in 36 matches for Rubi’s men.
He had been linked with a move to AS Roma, however, he stated that he is not ruling himself out of a return to the Italians.
“For now, I am playing at Almeria and I have a contract with them,” he told GOAL.
“And also, I’m enjoying my football in Spain but I don’t know what the future would bring.”