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A play-off place secured for Marbella

The players celebrate Añón's 17th-minute goal.
The players celebrate Añón's 17th-minute goal. / J. RODRÍGUEZ
  • The Costa side's title chances took a dent with a draw but a point was enough to secure a place in the play-offs

Objective achieved. A point on the road in El Ejido was enough to secure a place in the play-offs for Marbella but that didn't stop the players showing their disappointment at the final whistle after surrendering a 1-0 lead on Saturday afternoon.

It started so well for the visitors, who dominated the play for the entirety of the first half. Full-back Carlos Julio almost gave his side an early lead but dragged his shot from beside the penalty spot wide.

It was the same starting eleven as from the previous week's defeat to Ecija, but the approach was completely different: freeflowing attacking football only halted by persistant fouling by the home side.

The tactic, however, would come back to bite them in the 17th minute when captain Añón found the top corner with a perfectly-executed freekick over the top of the wall.

Despite the dominance, though, Marbella went into the break with just a single-goal lead after Corpas spurned a clear chance, totally unmarked at the back post, pushed out for a corner by the keeper.

Everyone inside the Santo Domingo stadium was given a reminder who was the home side in the second half. Ejido 2012 piled the pressure on but had difficulty converting their strong wing play into chances on goal.

That was until the 74th minute when former Marbella man Emilio Cubo delivered a perfect cross into the area, leaving Pino with the simplest of tasks to convert.

This deflated the visitors who managed to carve out one last chance in the 91st minute, spurned by Juanfran who let the occasion get to him.

Following Cartagena's win over Betis Deportivo, Marbella are now second in the table, bring an end to their eight-week run at the top. Now Fernando Estévez's side have two points to make up in the remaining three games if they are to be crowned champions at the end of the season.