Soccer-Chelsea connection put Cordoba back in La Liga


* Chelsea loanee Davila downs Las Palmas in stoppage time

* Cordoba back in La Liga for first time since 1972

* Las Palmas fans clash with police after final whistle (Adds quotes)

June 22 (Reuters) - Cordoba will be back in La Liga for the first time in 42 years after a stoppage-time Ulises Davila goal secured a 1-1 draw at Las Palmas and victory on away goals in their second division playoff final on Sunday.

After a 0-0 stalemate in Thursday's first leg in Cordoba, Las Palmas took a second-leg lead at their Estadio de Gran Canaria through midfielder Apono three minutes after halftime.

They were seconds from clinching a return to the top flight for the first time since 2001-02 when, amid chaotic scenes, the match was held up for several minutes as ecstatic home fans prepared to invade the pitch.

But there was still time for Cordoba, coached by former Barcelona and Chelsea defender Albert Ferrer, to strike.

Mexican forward Davila, on loan from Chelsea, stabbed the ball in from close range in the 93rd minute to dramatically secure the third and final promotion spot.

The Las Palmas supporters were furious and local media reported there were clashes with police after the final whistle.

Winning promotion with the Andalusian club was a major triumph for Ferrer whose debut managerial job was a troubled spell at Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem where Davila also spent a season on loan.

"It was an incredible finish," Ferrer told Canal Plus television.

"You always keep faith that in the final play of the game you can do something," added the 43-year-old former Spain international whose nickname is 'Chapi'.

"In my first experience I suffered a lot at Vitesse and I will always remember that," said Ferrer who took over at Cordoba in February.


President Miguel Angel Ramirez blamed a minority of Las Palmas fans for forcing the suspension of the match.

"We were very excited about going up but there are people who don't respect the rules," Ramirez told reporters.

"They are a minority but because of them Las Palmas lost something it had in its hands."

Cordoba will join second division champions Eibar and Deportivo La Coruna in La Liga next season after they secured the two automatic promotion places.

The three teams replace relegated Osasuna, Real Valladolid and Real Betis.

Cordoba last featured in La Liga in 1971-72 when Vicente del Bosque, now Spain coach, was on loan from Real Madrid and played in midfield.

Sunday's hero Davila, 23, signed a five-year contract with Chelsea in August 2011, joining from Mexican team Chivas.

He was loaned to Vitesse for a season before spending the 2012-13 campaign at Spanish second division team Sabadell, again on loan, and moving on to Cordoba a year later.

Barcelona's B team finished third in the second division but could not be promoted according to the rules. Las Palmas were sixth and Cordoba seventh.

Real Murcia, who were fourth, and fifth-placed Sporting Gijon lost their playoff semi-finals to Cordoba and Las Palmas respectively. (Writing by Iain Rogers, editing by Tony Goodson)

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