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Drama in Gran Canaria as Femenino snatch all three points at the death

María Ruiz shields the ball from opponents on Saturday.
María Ruiz shields the ball from opponents on Saturday. / ADG
  • Veteran striker Adriana pounced in the 92nd minute to secure victory for Malaga against Spar Gran Canaria

Malaga Femenino closed the year with a morale-boosting last-gasp victory over Spar Gran Canaria.

This ground will have brought back sweet memories for Malaga’s players, as it was here they secured promotion to the Primera División in the 2017/18 season. They would find success on this turf again in Saturday’s game, but they were made to sweat to earn it.

It was the home side who made the stronger start to the game, playing a physical and direct game. Malaga were forced back by the home side’s aggressive pressing, but they withstood this initial onslaught of around a quarter of an hour.

Malaga began to gain some momentum of their own, both Arantxa and Postigo testing Gran Canaria keeper Aco after a good cross from Postigo, but finding the stopper up to the challenge.

Noelia keeps Malaga in the game

The home side came out revitalised after the break, and Brenda almost beat Noelia with an effort from point-blank range. In a crucial intervention, the Malaga keeper managed to claw the ball off the line and keep her side’s hopes of victory alive.

After several efforts from the likes of María Ruiz and Arantxa failed to bear fruit, Malaga’s moment did finally come in injury time; when the home side’s defence failed to clear the ball in their area after several attempts, Adriana arrived to fire the ball home.

It was a hard-fought victory that will have heartened coach José Herera, even if his side are still not free-scoring. Malaga do not play now until 5 January, when they face a far sterner test: the visit of league leaders Albacete. They sit in fifth place going into the winter break.