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Luis Rioja in yesterday's game
Luis Rioja in yesterday's game / Julio Rodríguez

Marbella win a place in next season's Copa del Rey

  • Fael's side could only muster a draw at home to Linense this weekend, but have qualified for the cup next season

Marbella will play in next season's Copa del Rey, despite only drawing to Linense at El Municipal stadium, as none of their rivals, Irún, Lleida and Hércules, won their matches either.

Manager Fael Becerra Cortes played the same winning 11 that had finally put an end to the club's four-match losing streak against Jumilla last week, even though regulars Kike Márquez and Andrés Sánchez were eligible to play again after their bans expired.

Marbella began very postively and with good pace, particularly on the right wing and up front as Goti and Rioja made their presence known. However, striker Okoye soon became frustrated as service was lacking in potency and direction, which often granted Linense with possession and the ability to counter attack.

The visitors crosses and corners were much more threatening than those of the home side, and resulted in shots from both Mauri and Zamorano rattling the posts of the Marbella goal, which was defended by Bernabé for a second consecutive match.

Just before the whistle blew for half time, central midfielder Damián Petcoff was injured and substituted for left-winger Neva, which saw Goti move deeper to join Beitia and Lolo in midfield.

After the teams returned from the break, Marbella looked a lot more effective in the final third. In fact, Linense's Madrigal conceded a penalty in the eighth minute as he struggled to combat the pressure applied by Marbella's Marco Ruiz, who was penetrating the area from the right wing. Goti took the penalty and put the home side ahead.

However, displeased by the referee's decision to grant a penalty, the visitors fought for an equaliser, and less than 10 minutes later Zamorano beat Bernabé to make the scores level.

The remainder of the match saw more chances for the visitors than the hosts but the last 30 minutes were goalless, and a fixture that overall felt more like a preseason friendly finished 1-1.