surinenglish

Win not enough to save Femenino from the drop

The players were devastated at the final whistle.
The players were devastated at the final whistle. / Germán Pozo
  • Malaga's women's team did their bit but were still relegated on an agonising final day where results elsewhere went against them

Sunday was a day to forget at the Malaga Football Federation ground as Malaga women's first season back in the elite came to an end.

Relegation back to the second tier was secured despite the hosts securing the result that they needed - a 4-2 victory over Rayo.

Captain Adriana gave her side an early lead from the penalty spot to give encouragement to the 800 fans in attendance, but Malaga were quickly pegged back and went behind before half time with a brace from Altuve.

However, Antonio Contreras' side battled back in the second half with María Ruiz and Armisa scoring in quick succession (in the 65th and 68th minute, respectively) to restore the lead.

This led to chants of "¡Sí se puede!" (Yes we can!) around the ground as salvation looked to be on the cards. That was until Madrid CFF doubled their lead against Athletic Bilbao, leaving Malaga level on points with Huelva but in the relegation zone by virtue of their inferior head-to-head record.

There was still time for Adriana to get her second of the game but victory was not enough and tears erupted at the final whistle when their fate was officially sealed.

"For my part, I ask for forgiveness," said coach Contreras following the game. "I've always said during this whole time we've been struggling that it was my fault. The players are not to blame; they should feel proud of themselves."

Relegation caps off a campaign which started with high expectations, after significant investment in the playing staff and a switch of venue to the city. However, after just six wins all campaign, Malaga can have few complaints and now must rebuild again - with or without Contreras.